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Guantánamo Bay detention camp marks 20 years: History and controversy surrounding US jail

The navy jail, which was established on 11 January 2002 and nonetheless holds 39 inmates, is infamous for finishing up torture and has been known as ‘nationwide shame’

Twenty years in the past to this date, the United States opened Guantánamo Bay detention camp, a detention centre run by its Navy to deal with the primary inmates from America’s ‘war on terror’.

Gitmo, as many name it at the moment, is situated on the coast of Guantánamo Bay in southeastern Cuba.

We check out the historical past and the controversy surrounding this detention centre.

History of Gitmo

In the months after the United States launched the struggle on terror, its response to the 11 September 2001 assaults that killed practically 3,000 individuals, the administration of George W Bush rounded up nearly 800 terror suspects.

As the National reviews, the US wanted a spot to maintain them away from prying eyes and outdoors of the US, so they’d not be entitled to the rights afforded by the US justice system. While a number of places have been thought-about, the US settled on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The 117-square-kilometre base had ample house and was not technically a part of the US, however reasonably an “island outside the law”.

Torture utilized in Gitmo

Since being established in 2001, the Guantánamo Bay detention camp has been condemned for mistreatment, abuse and torture by the hands of CIA interrogators and guards.

The camp has been repeatedly condemned by worldwide human rights and humanitarian organisations — together with Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Committee of the Red Cross — s properly as by the European Union and the Organisation of American States (OAS), for alleged human rights violations, together with the usage of varied types of torture throughout interrogations.

File picture of detainees from Afghanistan of their cells at Camp X-Ray on the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. AP

In October 2021, a Guantanamo Bay prisoner described for the primary time the type of torture he confronted whereas he was saved there.

Majid Khan, a former resident of the Baltimore suburbs who grew to become an Al-Qaeda courier, spoke of being suspended bare from a ceiling beam for lengthy intervals, doused repeatedly with ice water to maintain him awake for days. He described having his head held underwater to the purpose of near-drowning, solely to have water poured into his nostril and mouth when the interrogators let him up.

He was overwhelmed, given pressured enemas, sexually assaulted and starved in abroad prisons whose places weren’t disclosed.

“I would beg them to stop and swear to them that I didn’t know anything,” he was quoted as saying.

And his was not a solitary story.

Time and time once more, activists slammed the actions that have been being carried out behind bars.

“The Guantanamo Bay navy jail is a catastrophic authorized, ethical and moral failure,” stated Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, concerning the jail’s birthday.

“It is a world image of American injustice, torture, and abuse of energy.

“It’s a nationwide shame that our authorities has for 20 years indefinitely detained Muslim males at Guantanamo, and persists with unconstitutional and secretive navy trials.

“Around the world, Guantánamo remains one of the most enduring symbols of the injustice, abuse, and disregard for the rule of law that the US unleashed in response to the 9/11 attacks,” stated Letta Tayler, an affiliate Crisis and Conflict director at Human Rights Watch.

A dozen impartial UN rights specialists, based on an AFP report, have voiced their outrage that the navy jail in Cuba remains to be working.

They describe it as a web site of “unparallelled notoriety” and a “stain” on Washington’s said dedication to the rule of legislation.

“Twenty years of practising arbitrary detention without trial accompanied by torture or ill-treatment is simply unacceptable for any government, particularly a government which has a stated claim to protecting human rights,” they stated in a press release.

Does the jail nonetheless maintain inmates?

Once holding practically 800 individuals, Guantanamo Bay jail nonetheless holds 39 males, a few of them from the very first months after it opened.

President George W Bush launched greater than 500 and Obama freed 197 earlier than time ran out on his effort to whittle down the inhabitants.

Guantnamo Bay detention camp marks 20 years History and controversy surrounding US prison

File picture of a military captain exterior unoccupied detainee cells inside Camp 6 on the Guantanamo Bay. AP

Of them, 13 have been cleared for switch — although discovering a spot to ship them to, or making preparations for his or her repatriation to their dwelling international locations, has confirmed a really sluggish course of.

Fourteen others are searching for to be launched; 10 are within the technique of standing trial or are ready to face trial; and two others have been convicted.

Plenty of these remaining have been subjected to torture by CIA interrogators within the first years of the post-9/11 detention program.

The accused mastermind of the 9/11 assaults, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, is at current held over there.

Cost to run Gitmo

As per reported info, it prices the US authorities $540 million a 12 months to function the detention centre.

Biden to close Gitmo?

Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby stated on Monday that President Joe Biden needed to shut the Guantanamo jail, although it stays a deeply contentious political difficulty.

“I will tell you the administration remains dedicated to closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay,” Kirby informed reporters.

“We are in a review right now about the way forward,” he stated, a course of that entails the White House, the US navy, the Justice Department, the State Department and different businesses.

With inputs from businesses

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