What Is the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility Used For?


Quick Answer

The Guantanamo Bay detention facility is used for detaining foreign nationals suspected of terrorism. The detention facility was created at a U.S. Naval Base in Cuba during the George W. Bush administration in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack on New York City.

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Full Answer

As of 2015, more than 750 prisoners have been detained since the Guantanomo Bay detention facility opened, according to CNN. The facility has been put under scrutiny from the public and from human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for the use of torture in interrogation tactics and for holding prisoners without proper trial and conviction. In 2009, Barack Obama signed an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay facility within one year, but as of March 2015, the facility remains open. Opposition from Congress and difficulty transferring prisoners to other locations has impeded the closure of the prison, reports Encyclopedia Britannica.

In 2013, 102 of the 166 detainees, many of whom were cleared for release, participated in a hunger strike to bring attention to their situation, as stated by CNN. There are 122 prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay facility as of January 2015. More than 50 prisoners continue to be detained despite being cleared for release, and 36 are detained without being formally prosecuted, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

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