The US releases a Guantanamo prisoner who was as soon as tortured at CIA websites


WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. army officers stated Thursday that they had launched and despatched to Belize a former al-Qaeda courier who was serving his sentence. Majid Khan’s rendition ended a detention that included torture at undisclosed CIA areas and 16 years within the Guantanamo Bay detention heart.

Khan, a Pakistani nationwide who grew up exterior of Baltimore, landed within the Central American nation underneath a Biden administration take care of that authorities. Khan’s legal professionals stated he ought to have been launched underneath a pre-trial settlement final February.

Khan, who’s in his early 40s, stated in an announcement from his authorized workforce that he deeply regretted his affiliation with al-Qaeda in his early 20s. This included working as a courier and taking part within the planning of a number of plots that by no means materialized.

“I promise you all, particularly the folks of Belize, that I can be a productive, law-abiding member of society,” the assertion stated. “I cannot allow you to down.”

Earlier than his arrival within the army jail on the US base in Cuba in 2006, Khan spent about three years at so-called CIA areas overseas. The CIA used the key areas in what america dubbed its “battle on terror” after al-Qaeda’s 2001 assaults on America on September 11, 2001.

Khan’s remedy was detailed in a Senate Intelligence Committee report launched in 2014, which accused the CIA of abusing al Qaeda detainees effectively past its authorized limits and giving the general public false experiences of helpful interrogations on the websites.

His remedy included hanging him from a ceiling beam for lengthy intervals of time, dousing him with ice water to deprive him of sleep for days and being subjected to beatings, water torture, pressured enemas, sexual assault and hunger, Khan stated in a army courtroom viewing his sentence a military-led battle crimes trial.

Khan pleaded responsible earlier than a US army fee in 2012. He was sentenced to 26 years in jail in 2021, though a Pentagon justice official, resulting from his cooperation with US authorities, was sure by a pre-trial settlement to cut back that sentence to not more than 11 years. Khan’s workforce stated he ought to have been launched as a part of that deal final February.

One in all his legal professionals, Katya Jestin, discovered that the US had continued to carry Khan greater than a yr after serving his sentence. “This can be a historic victory for human rights and the rule of regulation, however one which has lasted far too lengthy,” she stated in an announcement.

The Division of Protection thanked Belize and others who labored to switch Guantanamo detainees who’re deemed not a menace to freedom exterior america. The Pentagon additionally stated the US stays dedicated to ultimately closing Guantanamo.

At its peak in 2003, the jail held about 600 folks the US thought of suspected terrorists. Proponents of utilizing the detention facility for such people declare it deterred assaults. Many critics of Guantanamo say the system undermines human and constitutional rights and undermines the nation’s affect and ethical standing around the globe.

34 detainees stay at Guantanamo Bay, together with 20 who’re eligible for switch if steady third nations will be discovered to take them, the Pentagon stated.


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