Prisoner in Guantánamo Sentenced; details CIA torture

A Pakistani prisoner at the US military base in Guantanamo told a jury that he was raped, beaten and suffocated by CIA interrogators, in the first public testimony of torture of a detainee after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Majid Khan was sentenced to 26 years in prison by the jury on Friday after pleading guilty to aiding al Qaeda in 2002, according to a spokesman for the Guantanamo military commissions.

Based on a prior plea agreement, he could be released next year after spending 19 years in US custody.

The sentence was handed down after he gave an account on Thursday, until now never allowed to anyone, of the atrocious torture to which he was subjected by CIA interrogators for three years.

The narrative was admitted as part of the plea deal.

Khan told the court that he spent days in chains, sometimes hanging, without food or clothing, in dark cells with loud music and guards spraying him with ice water.

In secret CIA premises in unidentified countries, he was placed hooded in a tub of ice water with his head submerged.

Torture does not end with confession

Since being captured in Karachi on March 5, 2003, Khan told interrogators that he admitted working for al Qaeda and gave them information.

“Every time they tortured me, I would tell them what they expected to hear. I would lie to them to stop the abuses,” he said in his 39-page statement released by his lawyers.

However, he added, “the more I cooperated and told them, the more they tortured me.”

The torture lasted three years.

He spent days in chains and interrogators threatened to harm his family in the United States and rape his sister.

His glasses, without which he says he is almost blind, were broken early in detention and it took almost three years for him to be given new ones.

He was sleep deprived for several days to the point of being stunned. “I remember hallucinating, seeing a cow, a gigantic lizard. I lost my sense of reality,” he said.

The worst, he said, were the repeated enemas and forced anal feeding that left him permanently injured.

At one point, he said, a garden hose was put into his rectum, apparently to rehydrate him.

“I was raped by CIA doctors,” he said.

Impressionable youth

Khan, who grew up in Pakistan and moved to the United States at age 16 when he attended a Baltimore college, said his decision to support al Qaeda was wrong.

He was recruited as a collaborator of the jihadist network by some relatives when he was in Pakistan in 2002 to find a woman to marry.

In his 2012 court settlement, he admitted to court that he participated in a plot to kill the President of Pakistan.

He also admitted to taking $ 50,000 to Al Qaeda’s Indonesian allies to finance the destruction of a hotel with a bomb.

He said he sought to take responsibility for his actions.

“I am not the impressionable young man, the vulnerable boy that I was 20 years ago,” he said in court Thursday. “I reject Al Qaeda, I reject terrorism,” he added.

He added that he does not wish evil on his captors. “Those who tortured me, I forgive,” he said.

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