On Thursday, more than 16 years after he was brought to Guantánamo Bay and almost a year after he completed a military commission sentence there, pursuant to a plea and cooperation agreement with U.S. authorities, Majid Khan was transferred to Belize.
Majid 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. Majid and his legal team are grateful to Belize for offering him a chance to begin a new life.
The U.S. government 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.
Last week, we joined our community in outrage and heartbreak over the brutal murder of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five Memphis police officers. We remain overwhelmed by the magnitude of loss, and incredulous at government actors’ failure to take meaningful action against such relentless state violence against Black people, which is inherent to the project of policing in the U.S., indoctrinating Black and white officers alike.
The criminal charges against the individual officers who murdered Tyre Nichols do not address the fundamentality of state violence against Black people. Accountability requires an end to the police killing of Black people, a government that fulfills its obligation to guarantee human rights, the abolition of violent state institutions, and a robust public investment in the services, infrastructure, and resources our people need and deserve. Justice requires that Black people and those whose lives have been systemically devalued not only have what is needed to survive, but to experience joy, rest, healing and repair.
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February 7, 2023