Tortured Guantánamo Detainee Is Freed in Belize

A damning 2014 Senate investigation of the covert program disclosed what the C.I.A. did to Mr. Khan when he went on a hunger strike in his second year of detention: His captors “infused” a purée of pasta, sauce, nuts, raisins and hummus into his rectum. His lawyers called it rape.

At his sentencing in 2021, Mr. Khan expressed remorse for his crimes and related his story to a U.S. military jury at Guantánamo, which followed war court guidelines and sentenced him retroactively to 26 years in prison. Seven of the jurors then urged granting him clemency.

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“This abuse was of no practical value in terms of intelligence, or any other tangible benefit to U.S. interests,” they said in a handwritten letter from the jury room. “Instead, it is a stain on the moral fiber of America; the treatment of Mr. Khan in the hands of U.S. personnel should be a source of shame for the U.S. government.”

A U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of diplomatic sensitivities, said Belize’s government received Mr. Khan as a humanitarian act, to help him seek a fresh start. Details of the resettlement deal were not disclosed, but officials have described similar arrangements as a host country essentially granting a detainee asylum.

The transfer agreement was reached last year in talks between senior Belize government officials and Ian C. Moss, a lawyer who had helped defend Mr. Khan at Guantánamo Bay during the Trump administration, and then was appointed as a deputy counterterrorism coordinator at the State Department, the official said.

Eamon Courtenay, Belize’s foreign minister, visited the prison on Oct. 14 to meet with Mr. Khan and evaluate his suitability for life in the English-speaking nation of about 400,000 citizens, among them fewer than a thousand Muslims.

“This resettlement required considerable diplomatic creativity and perseverance,” said Lee S. Wolosky, who served as special envoy for the closure of the Guantánamo prison during the Obama administration. Mr. Moss was his chief of staff.


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