Majid Khan was born in Saudi Arabia in February 1980. A citizen of Pakistan, he moved with his family to the United States in 1996, and they were granted asylum in 1998. Khan grew up outside of Baltimore, Maryland, graduated from Owings Mills High School in 1999, and lived and worked in the area. He is married and has a young daughter he has never met. Several of his other family members are U.S. citizens and still live near Baltimore.
In March 2003, Majid was captured, forcibly disappeared, and tortured by U.S. officials at overseas “black sites” operated by the CIA. His torture is described at length in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the CIA’s post-9/11 detention and interrogation program, key findings of which were released on December 9, 2014.
Majid was transferred to Guantánamo in September 2006. He wrote to the Center for Constitutional Rights asking for help to challenge the legality of his detention in federal court in Washington, D.C., but was denied access to his counsel until October 2007. In February 2012, he was charged with various offenses before a military commission at Guantánamo. He pled guilty, cooperated with U.S. authorities for a decade, and was sentenced by a jury of senior military officers in October 2021. At his sentencing, Majid delivered a personal statement that lasted for more than two hours and covered topics ranging from his childhood and family background to his offense conduct, his torture and abuse, and his hopes and aspirations for the future and life after Guantánamo. Seven of the eight juror members wrote a letter recommending clemency for him. On March 1, 2022, Majid completed his 10-year sentence with credit for time served from the date of his guilty plea. In June 2022, he filed a new legal challenge to his continued imprisonment beyond the conclusion of his commission sentence. That case is pending in federal court in Washington, D.C. Additional information about the legal cases, including court documents, is available on the case page.
On February 2, 2023, Majid was transferred from Guantánamo 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 his statement and our press release announcing his transfer.
The New York Times' Carol Rosenberg has covered Majid's case for more than 15 years, including a series of recent reporting about the conclusion of his military commission case:
- June 4, 2020: Torture Can Be Considered in Sentencing Guantánamo Prisoners, Judge Rules
- May 25, 2021: Guantánamo Detainee Agrees to Drop Call for C.I.A. Testimony
- October 28, 2021: For First Time in Public, a Detainee Describes Torture at C.I.A. Black Sites
- October 31, 2021: U.S. Military Jury Condemns Terrorist’s Torture and Urges Clemency
- March 11, 2022: U.S. Official Ends Sentence of Terrorist Who Was Tortured by C.I.A.
- June 9, 2022: Guantánamo Prisoner Who Completed War Crimes Sentence Sues for Release