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Guantanamo detainee freed to Belize after 20 years in captivity | Human Rights Information

Guantanamo detainee freed to Belize after 20 years in captivity | Human Rights Information

Majid Khan, who was tortured by the CIA earlier than his switch to the US army facility in Cuba, says he feels ‘reborn’.

Washington, DC – A Guantanamo Bay jail detainee who endured torture in CIA custody has been transferred to Belize practically a 12 months after ending his sentence on the US-run detention facility.

The Pentagon introduced on Thursday that Majid Khan was freed, bringing the variety of prisoners at Guantanamo to 34, together with 20 who’re eligible for switch.

Khan, who was captured in Pakistan in 2003 and brought to Guantanamo three years later, stated he was wanting ahead to starting a brand new chapter within the Central American nation of 400,000 folks.

“Immediately, I really feel like I’m reborn. I’ve reentered the world,” Khan stated in a press release.

“I’m in somewhat little bit of shock as a result of I’ve been ready so lengthy to be free, and I can hardly imagine it has lastly occurred.”

Khan, who went to secondary faculty within the US state of Maryland, returned to his native Pakistan to hitch al-Qaeda after the 9/11 assaults in 2001. He pleaded responsible in 2012 to conspiracy to commit homicide, spying and “offering materials assist for terrorism”.

“He was sentenced in 2021 to a time period of confinement for over 10 years with credit score for the years he spent cooperating with US personnel,” the Pentagon stated on Thursday. “He has subsequently accomplished his sentence.”

The Guantanamo detention facility opened in 2002 to accommodate detainees captured through the “struggle on terror”.

Positioned at a US army base in Cuba, the jail operates beneath a authorized system led by army commissions that don’t assure the identical rights as conventional US courts. Detainees cleared for launch typically spend years at Guantanamo as Washington appears to be like for international locations to take them in after they’re freed.

Andy Worthington, co-founder of the Shut Guantanamo marketing campaign, stated whereas it was “nice” that Khan was freed, different inmates authorized for switch have little recourse to hurry up their launch.

“The 20 males authorized for launch can go nowhere,” Worthington advised Al Jazeera.

“Their launch is totally dependent actually on the whim of the US authorities. And that shouldn’t be the case. It’s an issue associated to the very basis of Guantanamo that was established the place the legislation didn’t apply.”

On Thursday, the Pentagon expressed gratitude to Belize for supporting “ongoing US efforts centered on responsibly decreasing the detainee inhabitants and finally closing the Guantanamo Bay facility”.

The jail as soon as housed practically 800 detainees, a lot of whom initially frolicked at covert CIA areas often called black websites, the place they have been tortured beneath a so-called “enhanced interrogation” programme authorised by former President George W Bush’s administration.

A 2014 US Senate report detailed among the torture strategies used on prisoners, together with Khan, at these services.

“I used to be a ghost, a strolling lifeless man,” Khan stated in his assertion on Thursday. “The CIA needed me to stay this manner perpetually. Actually, after I was being tortured, I typically wished for loss of life to flee the fear and the ache.”

Wells Dixon, a senior lawyer on the Heart for Constitutional Rights who represented Khan, stated the authorized advocacy group was “thrilled” by his launch.

“Belize has achieved an excellent job to arrange for his resettlement, and their success serves as a mannequin for different international locations to just accept males who nobody thinks ought to stay at Guantanamo however who can’t return to their dwelling international locations for humanitarian causes,” Dixon stated in a press release.

Khan was launched days forward of the first-ever go to by a United Nations professional to Guantanamo.

Fionnuala Ni Aolain, the particular UN rapporteur on the promotion and safety of human rights and elementary freedoms whereas countering terrorism, will share her findings and proposals after the journey, which is predicted to start subsequent week.

Ni Aolain can even interview survivors of the September 11, 2001, assaults within the US in addition to former Guantanamo detainees over the following three months, the UN Human Rights Workplace stated.