Guantánamo Bay at 20: why have attempts to close the prison failed? | News


The primary prisoners arrived at the newly constructed Camp X-Ray prison at the US naval base in Cuba’s Guantánamo Bay on 11 January 2002. It was a makeshift jail fashioned of chain-link cages and barbed-wire fences, watched over by snipers in plywood guard towers. It was by no means meant to be everlasting, however from the begin it had an ambiguous authorized standing: outdoors regular US regulation, it housed what the army known as ‘enemy combatants’, not prisoners of struggle. Twenty years on, roughly 780 prisoners have been held at Guantánamo in complete. Nonetheless, beset by allegations of abuse and torture at the camp, authorities have solely been ready to convey fees in opposition to 12 males and convictions in opposition to two.

The Guardian’s world affairs editor, Julian Borger, tells Nosheen Iqbal that the murky authorized standing of Guantánamo Bay that made it so enticing to the US authorities in 2002 is now making it so troublesome to close. Regardless of the hopes of three presidents (Bush, Obama and Biden, however not Trump) to close it, progress has been glacially gradual. It requires the willingness of US allies to settle for the switch of prisoners, and whereas there was some momentum in the early part of Obama’s presidency, it has since dried up.

In the meantime, 39 prisoners proceed to spend their days inside Guantánamo, with little prospect of launch for a lot of of them.

A flag flies at half-mast in honour of the victims of a terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, as seen from Camp Justice in Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.

{Photograph}: Alex Brandon/AP

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