Tortured Guantánamo detainee released in Belize
A damning 2014 Senate investigation into the secret program revealed what the CIA did to Mr Khan when he went on a hunger strike during his second year in custody: his captors ‘infused’ a mash of pasta, sauce, nuts, raisins and hummus in his rectum. His lawyers called it rape.
During his 2021 sentencing, Mr Khan expressed remorse for his crimes and told his story to a US military jury at Guantánamo, who followed war tribunal guidelines and retroactively sentenced him to 26 years in prison. . Seven of the jurors then urged that he be granted clemency.
“This abuse had no practical intelligence value or any other tangible benefit to American interests,” they said in a handwritten letter from the jury room. “Instead, it’s a stain on America’s moral fiber; Mr. Khan’s treatment at the hands of US personnel should be a source of shame for the US government.
A US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to diplomatic sensitivities, said the Belize government received Mr Khan as a humanitarian act, to help him get a fresh start. Details of the resettlement agreement were not disclosed, but officials described similar arrangements as the host country essentially granting asylum to a detainee.
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The transfer deal was reached last year during talks between senior Belize government officials and Ian C. Moss, a lawyer who helped defend Mr. Khan at Guantánamo Bay during the Trump administration and later been appointed Deputy Counterterrorism Coordinator at the Department of State. , the official said.
“This relocation required considerable diplomatic creativity and perseverance,” said Lee S. Wolosky, who served as special envoy for the closure of the Guantánamo prison during the Obama administration. Mr. Moss was his chief of staff.
Eamon Courtenay, Belize’s foreign minister, visited the prison on October 14 to meet Mr Khan and assess his suitability for life in the English-speaking nation of around 400,000 citizens, including less than a thousand Muslims.