A group of US military officers is urging a jailed Pakistani to be released now, after detailing the torture he suffered at the hands of the US intelligence organization Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Last week, Majid Khan became the first detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to publicly describe the kind of torture he suffered at one of the CIA’s so-called “black sites” during the war on the United States. terrorism and the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
In a 39-page testimony, Khan described being tortured, on and off, for three years, starting in 2003 in Karachi. He said interrogation techniques used on him included waterboarding, being hung naked from the ceiling and being physically and sexually assaulted.
Khan had been convicted of aiding al-Qaida after the US invasion of Afghanistan, following the September 11 attacks in America. But in his testimony, Khan said the more he cooperated with investigators, the more tortured he was, which led him to lie about his knowledge of Al-Qaida.
A letter from seven of the eight military officers who sentenced Khan to 26 years in prison, published in The New York Times on Sunday, condemned the CIA’s torture and said Khan’s interrogations went far beyond techniques of interrogation intensified and bordered on torture “practiced by the most abusive regimes in modern history.”
Officers added that the abuse was ineffective and called it “an affront to American values and the concept of justice.”
“This abuse had no practical value in terms of intelligence or any other tangible benefit to American interests,” the letter read. “Instead, it is a stain on America’s moral fiber; Mr. Khan’s treatment at the hands of American personnel should be a source of shame on the United States government.”
Khan, who was living in the United States at the time of the 9/11 attacks, told the court he had remorse over his involvement with al-Qaida and has since quit the group. He also provided new information to US investigators on other people linked to terrorism.
Khan is already due to be released from Guantanamo Bay next year, a development military officers apparently failed to realize when asking for his leniency.
The Khan case follows news that another Guantanamo Bay detainee will soon be released after 14 years in prison.
Asadullah Haroon Gul, 40, an Afghan accused of aiding al-Qaida, was also detained following the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, but has never been charged with a crime. Last week, members of a U.S. intelligence national review ruled it no longer posed a security risk.