Muhammad Rabbani stood trial today defending the confidentiality of a torture victim. Following the judge’s verdict of a conditional discharge and costs amounting to £620, he addressed the gathered supporters and members of the press with the following statement:
“I want to thank my lawyers and supporters who were here for me today. Of course the decision is not one that we had been hoping for, but the judge understood and expressed this case is complicated.
As the judge mentioned:
“the importance of passwords and privacy cannot be overstated in the 21st century”
Today’s judgement based on the judge’s and prosecution’s acceptance that I am of good character and worthy of belief, highlights the absurdity of the schedule 7 law.
They accept that at no point was I under suspicion, and that ultimately this was a matter of having been profiled at a port. There are important implications for our collective privacy as s.7 acts as a digital strip search.
I took the decision to not raise the details of an important torture case before my arrest, and ultimately I have been convicted of protecting the confidentiality of my client.
If privacy and confidentiality are crimes, then the law stands condemned.
CAGE and I are glad we brought this case, and the result indicates that our only option is to change the law. Schedule 7 actively discriminates, and this will hopefully be the start of a number of legal challenges as more people take courage to come forward. We will be appealing this decision and we have won the moral argument.”
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)