Skip to main content

How a human rights defender was convicted of terrorism

How far would you go to protect a client?

When Muhammad Rabbani, a human rights advocate, was stopped and interrogated on his return to the UK after working with a high-profile client, it was an experience he was familiar with.

As a Muslim and an activist, he'd been stopped at London's Heathrow airport many times before.

This time, however, when he refused to give up the passwords to his personal devices, he was arrested, charged and later convicted under the UK's Terrorism Act.

His fight to clear his name has been documented in the new film "Phantom Parrot", which highlights the controversial Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, which allows police to detain and question citizens at the border in the absence of suspicion, and how it's used to gather and share intelligence with other bodies such as the FBI.

This week on the Big Picture podcast, we sit down with Rabbani, the managing director of CAGE, which "campaigns for due process and the rule of law", to hear his story first hand, and why he thinks it should shock and concern every British citizen.

You can find out more about "Phantom Parrot" and where to watch it here:

Subscribe and listen on all podcast platforms:
Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.