Guantanamo detainee details his tortures at the hands of the CIA during his trial

Majid Khan is the first detainee in the Guantanamo military prison to publicly recount his tortures at the hands of the CIA. This Pakistani from the Guantanamo military prison detailed the torture he suffered for three years at the hands of the American intelligence agency, during his trial before a military court which sentenced him, Friday, October 29, to 26 years of detention. But given an agreement with the judge when he pleaded guilty, he could be released next year.

Former al-Qaeda messenger Majid Khan, 41, spared no detail to military judges when he told them on Thursday that he was beaten, sexually assaulted and subjected to mock drowning after his capture in Pakistan in 2003.

In a 39-page letter read to the hearing, Majid Khan, who grew up in Pakistan before emigrating to the United States with his family, recounted being hung up by shackles for several days in a row, naked and without eat, in windowless cells of secret CIA prisons in unidentified countries.

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Tossed between 2003 and 2006 between several secret sites, he described brutal interrogations, plunged the hooded face in baths of ice water, the head held under water until he speaks.

“They beat me until I begged them to stop. The worst part was not knowing when the blows would come, or where they would come from ”.

His interrogators threatened to attack his family in the United States and rape his sister. His glasses, without which he says he is almost blind, have been broken. “I had to wait three years before getting a new pair. “

Deprived of sleep, forced enemas

Several nights of sleep deprivation left him dazed. “I remember having hallucinations, seeing a cow and a giant lizard. I had lost all contact with reality. “

He underwent forced enemas between interrogations and was force-fed by an anal probe while on hunger strike, leaving him with permanent damage.

A garden hose was introduced into his anus to rehydrate him, he was told. “I was raped by CIA medics. While I was tied up, they inserted tubes and objects into my anus. “

“Whenever I was tortured, I told them what I thought they wanted to hear. I was lying to stop the violence ”, he said. Corn “The more I cooperated and talked, the more I was tortured. “

A US Senate investigation into the use of torture by the CIA after the September 11, 2001 attacks corroborates his testimony.

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“Majid’s strong words (…) reveal the devastating atrocities committed by our own government in the name of our national security”, said one of his lawyers, Katya Jestin. “The CIA program was a failure, and it was contrary to our democratic principles and the rule of law. “

Regrets expressed

Majid Khan arrived at the age of 16 in Baltimore, 31 miles from Washington, where he learned English at his father’s gas station before continuing his education at a local college.

Majid Khan, who had been recruited by members of his family belonging to Al-Qaeda during a visit to Pakistan, had nevertheless confessed a few days after his capture on March 5, 2003 in Karachi.

He admitted to having taken part in an attempted assassination of the Pakistani president and to having given 50,000 dollars to members of Al-Qaeda in Indonesia, a sum which had financed an attack on a hotel.

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He was granted the right to publicly tell about the treatment he suffered when he pleaded guilty in 2012. He regretted his actions. “It has been almost 20 years that I have been detained and held in solitary confinement, I have paid dearly”, he said. “I reject Al Qaeda, I reject terrorism. “

But he assured the court that he did not blame those who tortured him. “I will be at peace when I have forgiven myself and when I have forgiven others for the harm they have done me, he assured. To those who tortured me: I forgive you. All. “

The World with AFP

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Guantanamo detainee details his tortures at the hands of the CIA during his trial