By Kimie Matsuo and Zak Newman, (Amnesty International)
We learned earlier this week of even more shocking, horrific details in the case of one detainee who fell victim to the CIA’s torture program. Majid Khan, who has been held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility for almost nine years, is one of the 119 men whose case is mentioned in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s landmark report on CIA torture. But this week’s news, coming from declassified statements from Khan himself, includes revelations of grotesque and abhorrent treatment never publicly reported by the Senate committee.
Here’s what you need to know:
Who is Majid Khan?
- Majid Khan is a Pakistani national who suffered enforced disappearance at the hands of Pakistani and U.S. authorities in March 2003 during a raid on his family’s home. He was subjected to secret detention for more than three years, during which time his relatives were denied any news about his whereabouts or health. Khan was transferred to Guantanamo Bay in September 2006 along with 13 other supposed “high value” detainees after President Bush’s formal acknowledgement of the CIA’s torture program.
What have we learned about Khan’s treatment during his secret detention?
- It’s deplorable. Khan suffered a wide array of torture methods. He was subjected to sleep deprivation, likely long periods of solitary confinement, and forced rectal feedings and rehydration. On multiple occasions, Khan attempted suicide by trying to cut his wrists or other sensitive areas.
Sadly, we already knew all this from the Senate report released last December. We learned Tuesday that the treatment may have gone far beyond that barbarism. He was, according to just-declassified statements he made as part of his military commission proceedings, hung from poles, naked for hours on end. Guards reportedly touched his genitals.
Although Khan was not one of the detainees for whom CIA officials have said interrogators were authorized to waterboard, according to his statements, that didn’t stop his interrogators. Waterboarding techniques were used on him on at least several occasions. Guards even held his head under ice water on various occasions, and hung his naked body from a pole while guards hurled ice water and blew fans on him.