Mr Rabbani was detained at Heathrow Airport last November / CAGE

'I do believe I am doing what any reasonable person would do under the circumstances in order to protect the privacy of a client'

The international director of campaign group CAGE has been charged under anti-terror laws, after refusing to surrender his passwords to police.

Muhammad Rabbani was arrested last November after handing his laptop and mobile phone to officers but refusing to unlock them, after being stopped and searched at Heathrow Airport.

He has now been charged under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

“On 20 November 2016, at Heathrow Airport, he did wilfully obstructed [sic], or sought to frustrate, an examination or search under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, contrary to paragraph 18(1)(c) of that Schedule,” reads the Metropolitan Police announcement.

The 36-year-old is due to appear at Westminster Magistrate’s Court on 20 June.

CAGE describes itself as “an independent advocacy organisation working to empower communities impacted by the War on Terror”.

Mr Rabbani says he was unable to hand over the passwords because he was carrying “crucial evidence” and did not have permission to share the information.

“I’m going into this eyes wide open and I’m not a victim, but I’m not a hero either,” he said.

“I do believe I am doing what any reasonable person would do under the circumstances in order to protect the privacy of a client.” 

Mr Rabbani told the Guardian he’d been detained by border officials 20 times over the past decade, and his devices were handed back to him every time he declined to disclose his passwords.

In 2013, David Miranda, the partner of former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, was detained by the Metropolitan Police under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act.

He had been carrying encrypted records derived from data obtained by Edward Snowden

Police seized his laptop, phones, DVDs, USB sticks and video games consoles after holding him for questioning for nine hours.

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