The Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba has become an embodiment of cruel detention practices that have caused the US to be accused of torture.
The US military detention facility, opened by then-President George W. Bush to hold terrorism suspects captured abroad after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, is still operating as a remnant of the so-called war on terror.
Earlier this year, around 160 international rights groups sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to shut down the prison.
Oxfam America and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the facility, also known as “Gitmo,” fuels “bigotry, stereotyping and stigma” and that by promoting social divisions, it risks enabling “additional rights violations.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a non-profit organization dedicated to defending the civil liberties of all Americans, has urged Biden to close the facility down, describing it as a “global symbol of injustice, abuse and disregard for the rule of law.”
“Well, I'd be very surprised if Guantanamo is closed anytime soon because there's just not the political appetite I think in America to do that,” Clive Stafford Smith, a prominent US human rights lawyer who represented 87 Guantanamo prisoners and won 85 cases, told Anadolu.
At one point, there were nearly 800 prisoners at the facility with 749 eventually freed, said Stafford Smith.
They were all Muslim men who had been kept there for years without being charged, he added.