ACLU Comment on Plea Deal for Guantánamo Detainee Majid Khan

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Josh Bell, (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

ACLU Comment on Plea Deal for Guantánamo Detainee Majid Khan

GUANTÁNAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba - The American Civil Liberties Union said today that a plea deal reached for Guantánamo Bay prisoner Majid Khan had to be viewed through the lens of the torture he suffered at secret CIA prisons, and the serious flaws in the military commission he faced. Zachary Katznelson, ACLU National Security Project senior staff attorney, is at Guantánamo Bay to observe Khan’s arraignment.

“Any plea deal and testimony by Majid Khan must be seen in the context of his years of secret, incommunicado detention and torture at the hands of the CIA, and the prospect of trial by an unfair military commissions system,” said Zachary Katznelson, ACLU National Security Project senior staff attorney. “Whether the plea deal permits or restricts Mr. Khan from revealing the details of torture and abuse he suffered in CIA custody is a test of the Obama administration's promise that the commissions will provide transparency.”

In documents released in 2009 by the government via an ACLU Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, Khan said that he had been abused while in custody. According to declassified transcripts of his Combatant Status Review Tribunal, which determine if Guantánamo prisoners qualify as "enemy combatants," Khan said, "In the end, any classified information you have is through [CENSORED] agencies who physically and mentally tortured me."

The transcript of Khan’s testimony is available at:
www.aclu.org/files/pdfs/safefree/csrt_majidkhan.pdf

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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