Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Jury members request clemency for tyrannical Guantanamo detainee

Seven senior US military officers who last week sentenced a Guantanamo Bay prisoner to 26 years in prison issued an appeal for clemency in his case, describing his torture by the CIA as a “stain” on the US in a letter published on Sunday. Of.

In the first public account of torture by someone detained in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Pakistani national Majid Khan told the sentencing jury how CIA interrogators raped, beat and watered him. Gave.

Khan was sentenced at a US naval base in Cuba on October 29, after pleading guilty to aiding al-Qaeda conspiracies in 2002.

but first in handwritten letter published by the new York Times, Seven officers on the eight-member sentencing jury described his behavior as “a stain on America’s moral fabric”. The letter to AFP was confirmed as authentic by military commissions in Guantanamo Bay.

“The members of the panel listed below recommend clemency in the case of Majid Shaukat Khan,” said the officials, who included six officers from the Army and Navy and a Marine. He signed the letter with his jury numbers while remaining anonymous.

He wrote, “Mr. Khan has committed serious crimes against the US and partner countries. He has pleaded guilty to these crimes and has taken responsibility for his actions. In addition, he has expressed regret for the impact the victims and their families have had.” “

It is unclear what effect the letter may have, although all except one of the active duty service members on the jury have taken a noteworthy stance.

Based on a prior plea deal – which jurors were not aware of – Khan is set to be freed early next year after spending 19 years in US custody.

Khan was allowed to tell his story after agreeing not to disclose confidential information. He described in a 39-page statement the persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and a third country after his capture in Karachi in March 2003.

“Mr Khan was subjected to physical and psychological abuse beyond the accepted advanced interrogation techniques,” the letter said. “This abuse had no practical value in terms of intelligence, or any other tangible benefit to American interests.”

The letter-writers said that the young Khan was a “vulnerable target for extremist recruitment”, at the time mourning the loss of his mother.

“Now at 41 years old… he is remorseful and does not pose a threat to future extremism,” the officials said.

Khan, who grew up in Pakistan and moved to the United States at the age of 16, blamed poor judgment on his decision to help al-Qaeda.

“I was not a young, impressionable, vulnerable kid 20 years ago,” he told the court. “I reject al-Qaeda, I reject terrorism.”

His testimony on torture is supported by the US Senate’s own investigation into the use of torture by the CIA after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

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Nation World News Desk
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