Before being transferred to the US military base in Cuba, Majid Khan was tortured by the CIA and claims he feels "reborn."
Majid Khan, who has described in graphic detail his torture by the Central Intelligence Agency in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, has been transferred from the Guantanamo Bay US detention facility in Cuba to Belize, the Pentagon said.
Khan, 42, admitted in 2012 to conspiring with members of the Al Qaeda armed group responsible for the 2001 attacks to commit murder as well as providing material support for terrorism and spying and had been serving as a government witness since according to US officials.
He was captured in Pakistan and held at an unidentified CIA "black site" from 2003 to 2006 before being placed at the detention camp at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay.
In a statement issued through his legal team, Khan welcomed what he called a second chance in life.
Khan was the first Guantanamo detainee released since last October, leaving 34 detainees - down from a peak of 800 - at the facility, with 20 others already deemed eligible for transfer to another country, according to US officials.
🚨 The U.S. gov't never intended for Majid Khan or his story to see the light of day, but over 16 years later, he is free. We are so proud of Majid. He survived and persevered in a system designed to break him, and never stopped working toward his future. https://t.co/oC6ndSBfTp pic.twitter.com/NZEIqyEbfK— The CCR (@theCCR) February 2, 2023
There were 40 detainees at Guantanamo when President Joe Biden, a Democrat, took office in 2021.
Biden has said he hopes to close the facility. The federal government is barred by law from transferring Guantanamo detainees to US mainland prisons.
Established by former Republican president George W. Bush in 2002 to house foreign terrorism suspects following the 2001 hijacked plane attacks on New York and the Pentagon that killed about 3,000 people, the Guantanamo camp came to symbolise the excesses of the US "war on terror" because of harsh interrogation methods that critics have said amounted to torture.
READ MORE: Who is one of the two Afghans released from Guantánamo Bay?