WASHINGTON – According to U.S. media reports, the Biden administration would step up efforts to close the notorious prison camp …
of Guantanamo Bay, a U.S. detention facility inside a naval base on the island of Cuba. The closure of the maximum-security prison, had been promised by Biden himself during his election campaign, just as his Democratic predecessor, Barak Obama, promised during his election campaign that he would close it. This does not mean that the U.S. intends to return to the Cuban state the military base they illegally installed on the Island. This does not detract from the fact that the closure of the prison would still have a calming political significance for world opinion: Guantanamo Bay has been scarred by allegations of serious human rights violations.
Some of the released detainees have reported abuse and torture during their time at the prison. President Obama intended to close the detention camp in an effort to restore basic constitutional values and due process standards that are upheld by the United States. Shortly after taking office, however, President Donald Trump announced that Guantanamo Bay would remain open.
In his campaign, new U.S. President Joe Biden had repeatedly expressed his intention to want to close the Guantanamo special prison located on the U.S. base on the island of Cuba. The prison was opened after the Sept. 11 attacks on the twin towers and has housed suspected terrorists who were often imprisoned without evidence and without due process. “I would say that the Defense Department has more precise information about the timeline, but this remains something that the president is committed to doing and is very keen to move forward,” Psaki, a White House spokesman, said during a briefing.
On many occasions representatives of numerous international organizations, including experts from the OSCE and the UN, had called on the new U.S. administration to immediately close the facility since many prisoners were being held without trial or investigation and had been subjected to torture. However, this invitation was not followed up at the time.Repeated violations of the prisoners’ human rights, such as detention without trial or torture, did not serve the U.S. to proceed with the closure of the prison. When human rights are violated by them then one can turn a blind eye, in fact both. A total of 775 detainees have been incarcerated at the facility and currently about 40 remain.
Previously, at the time of Barak Obama’s presidency, the Guantanamo prison was the subject of a possible closure. On January 21, 2009, Obama had signed a decree to close it within a year but this decision was not implemented and the prison remained open. With the arrival of Donald Trump to the presidency the decree was rescinded. Trump was clearly against the closure but it must be remembered that Barak Obama will remain in the presidency of the United States for another seven years after the decree calling for the closure of the prison was issued, if he had felt like proceeding with its closure he would have had plenty of time to do so. To think that such a decision was made only to throw smoke in the eyes of those calling for its closure seems to me entirely legitimate given the way history has gone.
Now let us see if the new president will have the strength but more importantly the will to finally proceed with the closure of the Guantanamo prison. I’m going to go out on a limb here: some legal technicality will prevent its closure and, as his Democratic predecessor did, Biden will be able to say that he is not responsible for the fact that it was not closed.On Feb. 13, the Sputnik news agency quoting the Washington Examiner newspaper reports that National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne had stated that “Biden is serious,” referring to the closure of the Guantanamo prison. The spokeswoman specified that first and foremost, a number of key positions in the departments responsible for national security, including the Defense Department, the State Department, and the Justice Department, need to be filled before any progress can be made on the issue of closing Guantanamo.It has been more than four months since that statement, and still the Biden administration is unable to provide a firm date indicating with certainty when the Guantanamo special prison will be permanently closed.
Moreover, it would be appropriate for Biden to clarify what he intends to do with the military base once the prison is demobilized. Would it return, as international law dictates, to the territory of the Cuban people?