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Gitmo Turns 10 Years Old, Protests Erupt

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Human rights groups are holding demonstrations to protest the tenth anniversary of the US military detention camp at Guantanamo Bay while hopes for its closure weaken, Press TV reports .

Protesters dressed in orange prison jumpsuits, paraded in front of the White House to demand that the Guantanamo Bay detention facility be closed.

Detainees at the US Navy base also plan to mark the day with sit-ins, banners and a refusal of meals.

Guantanamo Bay “war prison” turned 10 years old on Wednesday, while US president Barack Obama promised two years ago to shut down the prison within a year of taking office.

Meanwhile, no detainee has left in a year because of restrictions on transfers, and indefinite military detention is now enshrined in the US law.

On December 15, the US House of Representatives passed a bill, which allowed the authorities to jail terrorism suspects for an indefinite period.

Under the new legislation signed by Obama, the US military is given the custody of anyone, who is deemed to be a member of al-Qaeda or one of the terrorist group’s affiliates.

The Guantanamo detention facility was initially established at a US naval base in Cuba after the US invasion of Afghanistan on January 11, 2002, under former US President George W. Bush.

Gitmos still houses 171 detainees.

The US has used torture techniques, including simulated drowning, known as waterboarding, on alleged terrorist suspects over the past years.

Human rights groups and lawyers for prisoners are disappointed that Obama failed to overcome resistance in Congress and close the prison. Besides, his administration has resumed military tribunals at the base and even continues to hold prisoners cleared for release.

The 10th anniversary of Guantanamo has been the focus for demonstrations in London and Washington and Paris this week.

The protesters also demand the closure of the US military’s Bagram prison in Afghanistan and the repeal of provisions of the 2011 Defense Authorization Act.


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