A decade of Guantanamo
It has been 10 years since the first detainees were brought to Guantanamo Bay, the US military base in Cuba.
Despite repeated calls for its closure, it has become a permanent fixture, at least for the foreseeable future, of US national security policy.
Few places do more to conjure up anti-American sentiments than the Guantanamo Bay detention centre, chosen by George Bush, the former US president, as a place to detain and interrogate those the US accuses of terrorism following the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The 10th anniversary will be marked by demonstrations in London and Washington, while some of the 171 prisoners still in detention there plan to mark the day with sit-ins, banners and a hunger strike.
The centre is controversial because most of the detainees have been held without charge indefinitely.
Out of 779 detainees, only six have been convicted. Most have been released after years in detention.
And there have been allegations of the torture and inhumane treatment of some of the detainees.
But while the US is at war with al-Qaeda, a majority of Americans think Guantanamo is necessary to imprison those picked up on the battlefield.
Although Barack Obama, the US president, pledged to close the prison the deadline for that came and went two years ago.
And, as of two weeks ago, indefinite military detention is enshrined in US law.
So, has Guantanamo led to successful intelligence gathering? And should it be kept open?
‘And let there be no doubt the treatment of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay is proper, it`s humane, it`s appropriate, and it is fully consistent with international conventions. No detainee has been harmed. No detainee has been mistreated in any way’. - Donald Rumsfeld, the former US secretary of defence
‘There may be an allegation, but there’s no evidence that we’re treating them outside the spirit of the Geneva Convention. And for those who say we are, they just don’t know what they’re talking about’. - George Bush, the former US president
Source: Al Jazeera
BDST 2113 hrs, January 11, 201