Treatment of Guantanamo detainee ‘offends American values’, says military panel

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A US military panel called for clemency in the case against a Guantanamo detainee, saying in a letter obtained by CNN that the treatment the detainee has received while in custody over the past two decades is “an affront to American values ​​and the concept of justice.”

O New York Times was the first to report the letter. Majid Shoukat Khan is one of 39 detainees still in the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Captured in Pakistan in 2003, he was held for over three years in secret CIA prisons known in English as black sites. Khan’s lawyers said he suffered “severe physical and psychological trauma from which he is unlikely to fully recover” as a result of the torture.

Khan, a Pakistani who attended high school in Baltimore, Maryland, was detained by the US government without being charged with any crimes until 2012.

He pleaded guilty in 2012 as part of an agreement that required him to testify against other detainees. After being convicted, he did not receive a final sentence until October 2021, said the panel’s letter.

“Although designated as a ‘belligerent unprivileged foreign enemy’, technically lacking the rights of American citizens, complete disregard for the fundamental concepts on which the Constitution was founded is an affront to American values ​​and concepts of justice,” the document stated. .

Panel members also called for clemency over the extent of the torture Khan suffered while in US government custody.

“Mr Khan has suffered physical and psychological abuse far beyond approved improved interrogation techniques, something akin to torture practiced by the most abusive regimes in modern history,” the letter said. “It’s a stain on America’s moral fiber.”

“The treatment of Mr. Khan by US officials should be a source of shame for the government,” the document added.

Last week, Khan gave an account of the torture he suffered while in US custody – the first time a detainee who had been tortured in the CIA’s Enhanced Interrogation Techniques program had done so in public.

O New York Times he was the first to report Khan’s testimony before the military judge and military jury at the war tribunal at Guantanamo Bay.

The US has accused Khan of helping al Qaeda plan attacks in the United States and elsewhere and of conspiring with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, accused of being the mentor behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The US also accused Khan of giving $50,000 in al Qaeda funds to an affiliate of the group in Southeast Asia, which then gave the money to Jemaah Islamiyah to finance the August 2003 bombing of the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, in Indonesia.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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