Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

In first, Guantanamo detainee details CIA torture in court


Majid Khan details being waterboarded, sexually and physically assaulted at CIA black sites during sentencing hearing.

A detainee held at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre has offered the first public account in a United States court of torture at a CIA clandestine facility during Washington’s decades-long so-called “war on terror”.

Majid Khan, a former resident of a Baltimore suburb, detailed being waterboarded, physically and sexually abused, and suffering other forms of torment at a CIA “black site”, used by the US in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Thursday’s testimony from Khan, which came during a war crimes tribunal sentencing hearing at the US base in Cuba, represents the first time a former “black site” detainee has publicly described abuses committed as part of the US spy agency’s so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques”, according to the New York Times.

Khan had previous pleaded guilty to charges related to his role as an al-Qaeda courier and planner.

“I thought I was going to die,” Khan said during the testimony, detailing various tortuous techniques, including being suspended naked from a ceiling beam for long periods, being doused repeatedly with ice water to keep him awake for days, and having his head held underwater to the point of near-drowning, only to have water poured into his nose and mouth when the interrogators let him up.


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