Those who are not guilty of any wrongdoing have nothing to hide.
“Director of campaign group that praised Jihadi John is found GUILTY of terror charge after refusing to hand over his phone and laptop during an airport stop and search,” by Richard Spillett, Mailonline, September 25, 2017:
The director of controversial advocacy group Cage has been convicted of an offence under the Terrorism Act after refusing to hand over the pin code to his mobile phone at Heathrow Airport.
Muhammad Rabbani, 36, was stopped under Schedule 7 on November 20 last year after returning home from a wedding in Doha.
He refused to give his pin number or the password to his laptop, saying he had been stopped many times under the schedule before and had never been required to give these details.
Rabbani said he had highly confidential information on his device and that handing it to police would be a breach of his ‘personal and professional’ privacy.
But on Monday he was convicted at Westminster Magistrates’ Court of one count of wilfully obstructing a stop-and-search under Section 7 of the Terrorism Act.
Senior District Judge Emma Arbuthnot sentenced him to one year conditional discharge.
She said: ‘The defendant was stopped by first one and then the second officer. Certainly the first officer had only the vaguest idea of what Cage did.
‘As part of the stop the defendant was asked for the pin number and password for his iPhone and Apple computer.
‘He said it was like handing over his home keys which he would rather not do.
‘His main qualm he said was that there was a lot of information that had already been collected.
‘What he did not say to them was that some of the information in his devices was excluded material.
‘I accept he was trying to protect confidential material on his devices. The defendant took a calculated risk not to give the pin codes.
‘You took a risk, it happened before, you thought you might get away with it again but you didn’t.’
Before the trial started, Rabbani said: ‘I’m not guilty of a crime and I’m doing what any other professional would’ve done in my place – the police included.
‘We are quite confident that the law is on our side and the court will recognise that I’m actually innocent of any wrongdoing and was protecting an important principle: client confidentiality and legal privilege.
‘We need to protect national security, but we need an intelligent and measured response.’
He added: ‘Only five people were charged last year out of 19,000 stop-and-searches at the border and one of those was me.
‘It is clear that the overwhelming majority of people are totally innocent and are being subjected to a deeply intrusive process for no reason.’
Rabbani, of Bethnal Green, east London, spoke to identify himself in the dock in front of a public gallery packed with reporters and supporters at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
Cage campaigns against anti-terror policing against Muslims which it says is oppressive.
The group caused controversy in 2015 when Kuwaiti-born London extremist Mohammed Emwazi man was named as ISIS executioner ‘Jihadi John’.
Hours after he was unmasked, the group’s then-director Asim Qureshi described Emwazi as a ‘beautiful young man’.
The court heard that Rabbani refused to tell officers what he did for a living or give out his Pin saying ‘it won’t help you in any way’ and that it breached his privacy.
Pc Tariq Chaudhry, the officer who conducted the search, said: ‘I asked him questions about his occupation and he said he was a director of a company but wouldn’t go any further – he kept saying ‘You don’t need to and it won’t help you in any way’.’
Pc Chaudhry said that Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act gives officers their right to stop and search people ‘with or without suspicion’.
Rabbani was repeatedly warned that he would be arrested if he failed to give his Pin codes, but said he had never been asked to give this information during previous stop-and-searches….