The US has released Majid Khan, an al-Qaida courier turned informant who was tortured successful concealed CIA prisons and held successful custody for astir 20 years, marking nan first clip a “high-value detainee” has been freed from Guantánamo Bay.
Khan, a 42-year-old Pakistani calved successful Saudi Arabia, completed his jailhouse word past March and landed successful Belize connected Thursday, wherever he is to beryllium permanently resettled.
“Today, I consciousness for illustration I americium reborn. I person re-entered nan world. I americium a free man,” Khan said successful a written statement. “I americium opening a caller life successful a caller state and a caller culture. I’m successful a small spot of daze because I person been waiting truthful agelong to beryllium free, and I tin hardly judge it has yet happened.”
He added that he expected to beryllium reunited pinch his woman aft 20 years apart, and to meet his girl for nan first time.
“He arrived coming to commencement anew arsenic a free man,” nan Belize foreign ministry said connected Twitter. One of his lawyers, Wells Dixon, said: “My knowing is that Majid Khan is simply a wholly free individual.”
Khan’s merchandise is nan first clip nan US has released a “high-value detainee”, an charismatic word utilized to mention to Guantánamo inmates who person been subjected to torture astatine CIA “black sites”.
Over 3 years successful CIA custody, he was suspended naked from a ceiling beam for agelong periods and doused many times pinch crystal h2o to support him awake, subjected to waterboarding (water poured complete a cloth placed complete nan rima and chemoreceptor to springiness nan sensation of drowning), forced “rectal feeding” erstwhile he went connected hunger strike, beatings and intersexual assault.
Khan pleaded blameworthy successful 2012 and agreed to cooperate successful nan prosecutions of different suspects. He confessed to being an al-Qaida courier and delivering $50,000 from Pakistan to 1 of nan panic organisation’s affiliates successful Indonesia, wherever nan money was utilized to money nan bombing of a edifice successful Jakarta successful 2003.
He besides admitted to plotting a termination explosive onslaught against Pakistan’s erstwhile president, Pervez Musharraf, an onslaught which ne'er took place.
“I person been fixed a 2nd chance successful life and I intend to make nan astir of it,” Khan said successful his connection connected Thursday.
“I profoundly regret nan things that I did galore years ago, and I person taken work and tried to dress up for them. I proceed to inquire for forgiveness from God and those I person hurt. I americium genuinely sorry.
“I committedness each of you, particularly nan group of Belize that I will beryllium a productive, law-abiding personnel of society,” Khan said.
After they heard his confession and his torture astatine nan hands of nan CIA, respective jurors astatine his military proceedings successful 2021 urged leniency, saying his curen was “a stain connected nan civilized fibre of America”.
His condemnation was reduced from 26 years to 10, to commencement from his blameworthy plea successful 2012. When his condemnation was completed successful March 2022, nan US authorities said it had not been capable to find a state consenting to big him, noting that it had been successful chat pinch 11 different governments.
Eamon Courtenay, Belize’s overseas minister, visited Khan successful Guantánamo successful October, to talk his resettlement.
Courtenay told journalists connected Thursday: “He is being resettled connected humanitarian grounds, conscionable arsenic our state has done for thousands of migrants and refugees passim nan years.”
With Khan’s release, location are now 34 prisoners still successful Guantánamo Bay, of whom only 11 person been charged successful nan subject tribunals.