Biden aides “attempt to shut down” Guantanamo prison
US President Joe Biden and his administration have started a review of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which could result in the closing of the infamous facility, a White House official said on Friday.
The Reuters news agency quoted “aides involved in internal discussions” as saying that they are “considering” an executive action that would be signed by President Biden within “coming weeks or months.”
“We are undertaking an NSC [National Security Council] process to assess the current state of play that the Biden administration has inherited from the previous administration, in line with our broader goal of closing Guantanamo,” NSC spokeswoman Emily Horne told Reuters.
“The NSC will work closely with the Departments of Defence, State, and Justice to make progress toward closing the GTMO facility, and also in close consultation with Congress.”
The move revives efforts undertaken by former president Barack Obama’s administration, before Donald Trump took power in 2017, to close the prison, which has been subjected to scrutiny amid allegations of human rights violations.
Many observers have referred to it as “a stain on America’s global image.”
Read more: How a multiracial coalition powered Democrats to victory in Georgia's Senate battle
The mission to close the infamous prison may not be easy however, because Biden’s administration is expected to face much legal and political resistance.
The high-security prison was established by the administration of former President George W. Bush to imprison detainees suspected of links to the Taliban and the Al-Qaeda in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
Human rights groups said that the interrogation tactics used there amounted to torture and abuse.
There are still forty prisoners remaining in Guantanamo, and most of them have been held for almost 20 years without being charged or put on trial. However, among these are five men facing a trial by military commission for their alleged roles in planning and aiding the September 11 attacks.