"Human Rights travesties, like the ones allowed to be committed at Guantanamo Bay over the last 15 years, have very much been put on the sidelines during this presidential campaign. And so we have gathered here today to remind our governments that this is still a serious issue that cannot be ignored any longer and it needs an immediate resolve by those in charge" one of the demonstrators told Sputnik.
According to a recent news release by US-based advocacy organization Human Rights First, currently 60 detainees are remain at the Cuban facility, costing approximately $445 million (£358.58 million GBP) per year to operate. This makes it one of the most expensive prisons in the world, requiring just over $7 million per detainee.
Sadia, a young London-based resident who attended the demonstration, told Sputnik:
"The whole War on Terror has been a disaster and I am showing my support to this campaign in protest of the negative effect on Muslim communities in particular. I also know people whose family members have been wrongly detained and so have seen first-hand the direct impact it has had."
Media reports have stated that the notorious detention center once held up to 780 detainees. US President George W. Bush is said to have transferred over 500 during his tenure. Current US President Barack Obama has transferred back 162 prisoners to other countries. Obama issued an order early in 2008 to close the controversial prison but his efforts have been consistently blocked by a Republican-controlled Congress.
"Obama has made a notable difference in reducing the numbers detained at Guantanamo, but there are still too many held there. Whatever the election result is this week, we need more action and we will keep campaigning until it happens" Sadia told Sputnik.
Many protesters also traveled from outside of London to attend the demonstration. One member, who wished to remain anonymous, told Sputnik:
"For me this is about advocating for the human rights of everyone. I'm here not only supporting the plight of all those who have been, and still are detained at Guantanamo, but also for brave individuals such as Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning who have also been imprisoned for speaking out against injustice and wrongdoing."
One protester commented on how Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton previously backed closing the facility, while Republican candidate Donald Trump has expressed his interest in holding trials of US citizens there, despite the practice being against US law.
"If the prison was to be closed tomorrow then we will have no need to hold demonstrations like this. We will carry on campaigning until that day comes." she said.
There was a strong police presence outside of the US Embassy in Central London, and the demonstration was moved away from the location, at a greater remove than had previously been planned by the organizers.
It will now be up to the next Congress to decide whether to bring the Guantanamo detainees to the United States, where the next administration can choose between military commissions and federal courts. Whether the facility will be kept open another 15 years will be known very soon.