Thursday, April 5, 2007

Inside Guantanamo Bay

Detainees arrive at Camp X-Ray


On 11 January 2002 some 20 men detained in Afghanistan on suspicion of belonging to Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda organisation became the first inmates at the newly opened prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.

Some 700 prisoners would eventually be transferred to the site. Five years on, almost 400 men of more than 35 nationalities remain. Images of the hooded and shackled detainees arriving shocked many around the world, and raised questions over Washington's commitment to their human rights.

The current prison camp complex lies on a US military base occupying a small strip of land on the southern coast of Cuba.

The prisoners are all what President Bush has termed as "enemy combatants"; men whom former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld described as "the worst of the worst".

To date, no Guantanamo detainees has faced trial. Human rights group Amnesty International says their continued incarceration at the camp contravenes international law.

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