10 January 2013, 14:12

Guantanamo prison camp: 11 years of tortures

Guantanamo prison camp: 11 years of tortures

Thursday marks the 11th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo Bay, the notorious American prison for suspects considered the nation’s unlawful enemies in the war on terror. The prison is still functioning despite President Obama’s pledge to shut it down within a year after taking his first office.

Demonstrators, wearing an orange jumpsuit and black head masks like those prisoners wear in Guantanamo, have come to the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, today demanding the closure of the notorious detention facility. One of them is holding a placard “Shut down Guantanamo”.

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In London six former British detainees will hold a press conference, organized by Cageprisoners Ltd, where they will recall their stories of imprisonment. All of them are survivors of tortures, and they are ready to share their experiences and reflections today.

The prison started functioning in 2002. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US and after the American invasion of Afghanistan, first suspected al Qaeda members or supporters were transported there. Prisoners were subject to harsh interrogation tactics including sleep deprivation, shackling in stress positions and prolonged exposure to cold temperatures.

Of the 779 people who have been detained at the Guantanamo prison, 600 have been transferred to other countries and 169 remain according to analysis by The New York Times and NPR. In addition, eight detainees died while in custody.

Cageprisoners Ltd is a London-based human rights organization and one of the many activists calling on the global society “to raise awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detainees held as part of the War on Terror.”

Amnesty International has issued a statement of deep concern over the situation in the Guantanamo detention camp. Half of the prisoners there, they note, are Yemeni citizens. The report also points to the Pentagon funding law recently signed by President Obama that allows for detention of anyone, including American citizens, without charges in the detention camp.

Voice of Russia

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