Statement by Majid Khan on His Transfer (February 2023)

On February 2, 2023, Majid Khan was transferred to Belize. He is the first of the prisoners transferred from secret CIA detention to Guantánamo in September 2006 to be released, and the first third-country resettlement by the Biden administration. Read our press release

Below is a statement by Majid issued through his legal team.

My name is Majid Khan, and I am a real person. I am a human being. I am a Muslim man, and I first want to thank God for freeing me.

When I was captured and disappeared into the CIA black sites twenty years ago, I thought that my life was over. I was young, alone, and very scared. I was sure that I would never be free or see my family again. No one knew where I was, or what had happened to me, or even whether I was alive. I was a ghost, a walking dead man. The CIA wanted me to remain this way forever. In fact, when I was being tortured, I often wished for death to escape the terror and the pain. But I didn't die. God protected me. I survived. I am a survivor. I was meant to live.

Today, I feel like I am reborn. I have reentered the world. I am a free man. I am beginning a new life in a new country and a new culture. It's all new to me, and I have a lot to learn. I'm in a little bit of shock because I have been waiting so long to be free, and I can hardly believe it has finally happened. I also realize how much time I have lost and what I need to make up. Most importantly, I will soon meet my daughter for the first time, who was born after my capture, and reunite with my wife and family after twenty years. I am nervous, but also excited.

I have been given a second chance in life and I intend to make the most of it. I deeply regret the things that I did many years ago, and I have taken responsibility and tried to make up for them. I continue to ask for forgiveness from God and those I have hurt. I am truly sorry. The world has changed a lot in twenty years, and I have changed a lot as well. I promise all of you, especially the people of Belize that I will be a productive, law-abiding member of society. Thank you for believing in me, and I will not let you down. My actions will speak louder than my words.

I am sure that some of you will still have questions about me, about who I am, what I did, and what happened to me during the last twenty years. All I can say is that there may be a time at some point in the future for me to answer those questions and explain my past more fully. But I worry that if I dwell too much on the last twenty years, then I won't be able to concentrate fully on my next twenty years. The sooner I put the past behind me, the sooner I can move on. My goal is to move on and make the most of the rest of my life. My motto now is live and let live.

Eventually, I do want to work and start a business. I don't want to be a burden to anyone. I want to start a real estate business, or maybe a restaurant or food truck business. I am a great cook and would love to introduce everyone in my new country to Pakistani food. I also want my daughter to be educated, and for my wife and our family to make friends in our new home.

Today, however, and for the immediate future, I really need to take some time to rest and recover from what I have been through, with help from my family who I have missed so much. I realize that I may face some challenges adjusting to life after Guantanamo. At times it may not be easy, so I ask for your patience and understanding. I also ask for privacy for my family and me. Please do not reach out to me directly; please contact me through my lawyers and their PR representatives.

I would like to end by thanking everyone who helped me get to where I am today. I especially want to thank the Government of Belize and the Foreign Minister, Mr. Courtenay, for accepting me. I also want to thank Ian Moss and all of those at the U.S. State Department who worked on my transfer, for their dedication and efforts. And I would like to thank all my lawyers, both civilian and military, for their unwavering commitment to me for the last 15+ years. In particular, Wells Dixon and Katya Jestin have advocated for me from the beginning and have stood by me to the end. I am very grateful to them, and to all who have fought for justice and accountability at Guantanamo.

Thank you.


Last modified 

February 4, 2023