Iran blasts US failure to shut down 20-yr Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba

by IANS |

Tehran, Jan 14 (IANS) Iran's top human rights official has slammed the US for failing to honour its promises to close down Guantanamo Bay detention camp, 20 years after the infamous prison was established in Cuba.

"January 11 marked 20 years since the opening of Guantanamo Bay, the notorious US prison, (in) which detainees are held extra judicially. Promises were made to close the facility, but there are still expansion plans to be built this year," Kazem Gharibabadi, the Iranian Judiciary Chief's Deputy for International Affairs and Secretary of the country's High Council for Human Rights, said in a tweet.

"There is no perspective on closing the facility. Even military spending bill entails provisions barring the use of funds to transfer detainees to other countries or into the US unless certain conditions are met," Gharibabadi noted.

The Guantanamo Bay detention facility, a symbol of US torture and abuse of prisoners, marked on Tuesday the 20th anniversary of the first prisoners' arrival, amid renewed calls for its shutdown and US reflection on the country's terrible human rights record, Xinhua news agency reported.

The detention site at Guantanamo Bay naval base on the island of Cuba admitted its first detainees on January 11, 2002, as part of the US-led global war on terror in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, which killed nearly 3,000 on American soil.

Over the past two decades, about 780 inmates were thrust into the cells of the US military prison, where they were reportedly subjected to torture and other brutal treatment.

Until now, 39 people are still there. Of them, a dozen have been charged with war crimes, while the rest are either eligible for transfer or continue to be held under indefinite detention.

Between 2002 and 2021, nine detainees died in custody in Guantanamo, two from natural causes and seven reportedly from suicide. None of them had been charged or convicted of a crime.

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