Defense

Once-secret Guantanamo Bay unit shuttered by US

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The U.S. military on Sunday said that prisoners inside a once-secret unit inside the Guantanamo Bay detention center have been moved after the unit fell into disrepair and was closed, the Associated Press reports.

U.S. Southern Command said in a statement that the prisoners in Camp 7 were moved to Camp 5, an adjacent facility, in order to “increase operational efficiency and effectiveness.” The transfer went “safely and without incident,” the command said, though it did not specify when it occurred. The move consolidated 40 inmates from three to two units, officials said.

U.S. Southern Command, based in Miami, oversees the American base in Cuba.

Five of the prisoners who were held at Camp 7 were charged with war crimes for their alleged involvement in planning and supporting the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the AP reports. 

Camp 7 opened in 2006 and was designed to hold prisoners who had previously been held in a network of secret CIA facilities, referred to as “black sites,” where they were subjected to harsh interrogation techniques. The military long refused to acknowledge the existence of the Camp 7, the AP reports, and journalists have never been permitted to see inside.

The facility suffered from structural issues and was never meant to be permanent. The AP reports that the facility was meant to be replaced, but the Pentagon abandoned its plans to obtain funding for the project.

The AP notes that the Biden administration has said that it intends to close down the prison on Guantanamo Bay. The Obama administration had also sought to do.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has said that a “robust” review would be done that would involve several agencies including the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice.  

“There are many players from different agencies who need to be part of this policy discussion about the steps forward,” Psaki said.

Tags Black site Guantanamo Bay detention camp Jen Psaki Torture in the United States
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