The article "Guantanamo's Forgotten Souls of Endless War" (Irish Independent, February 17, 2006) claims unequivocally that "there are no female captives in Guantanamo." "These are some of the most dangerous men on the planet, according to American officials (there are no female captives at Guantanamo)." The article also states that the British government has been given full access to all inmates at the camp.
However, the claim that there are no female prisoners at Guantanamo is incorrect. Five women were being held there when it was first set up in January 2002. They have since been released back into the community with their families after spending several years at the prison camp. One of them was Shaker Aamer, who has become well-known since his release because of his repeated appeals to have his day in court.
In May 2005, it was reported in the media that five more women had been transferred from Afghanistan to Guantanamo. Three of them were reportedly sent by the CIA, and two by the Defense Department. It is not clear why they were sent there, but it may be because they were suspected of links to al-Qaeda.
There are currently five women at Guantanamo. Four were sent there by the Pentagon's military commission system - which is designed to try terrorists captured during armed conflicts or arrested in the United States for acts committed abroad. The fifth woman is being held without charge or trial.
At least 775 inmates have been sent to Guantanamo Bay. Despite the fact that the vast majority of these detainees have been freed without prosecution, the US government continues to categorize many of these released detainees as "enemy combatants." As of January 5, 2017, there were 55 inmates still at Guantanamo. The Obama administration had tried to close the facility, but Congress stopped him from fully doing so.
Guantanamo has existed since 2002, when President George W. Bush opened it up as a place where terror suspects could be kept while their cases were heard in US courts. However, many innocent people were also detained there; evidence showed that more than 100 of those held were completely cleared of any charges under US law. In 2015, then-president Barack Obama pledged to shut down the prison, but Republicans in Congress blocked his efforts. They said closing the facility before all the inmates were charged or found not guilty would leave the country vulnerable to future attacks.
In 2016, then-candidate Trump told his supporters he would try to get rid of Guantanamo because it's a "total disaster zone." He also said he would move its inmates into prisons across the United States. But this plan was only part of his overall strategy for dealing with terrorism. In fact, one of his first acts as president was to sign an executive order directing the closure of the prison.
The number of prisoners at Guantanamo has fluctuated over time. In January 2002, before it was officially opened by President Bush, there were approximately 250 inmates at the base in Cuba. This number increased to nearly 500 in July 2002 after the US invasion of Afghanistan, and dropped back down to about 220 in December 2003. Since then, the population has remained relatively constant at around 240.
Guantanamo has come under heavy criticism from human rights groups who say the prison violates international law. The US government claims that all those held at Guantanamo are dangerous terror suspects who could not be tried in any regular court because there is no independent judiciary in Cuba.
However, some people classified as terrorists by the US government have been released without being charged with a crime.
First, can you remind me how many detainees are still held at Gitmo? Guantanamo has kept roughly 800 prisoners over the years, but presently just 40 men are incarcerated there, and approximately three-quarters of them have never been prosecuted legally. They are referred to as "forever prisoners," and they are being held eternally. This is different from the standard practice of trying people after they have been arrested.
Now back to your question: Of the 40 prisoners currently held at Gitmo, about a third were captured in Afghanistan, and the rest came through other countries. The majority of them (80%) are either Afghan or Arab foreigners who were caught up in the conflicts surrounding the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. A few are American citizens who were arrested outside of Guantanamo and later brought in; one such case was that of José Padilla, an American citizen convicted of terrorism charges after being held for nearly 3 years without trial. There are also several British residents, one French, and one Canadian who were all detained in Europe and then transferred to Guantanamo.
As for the remaining 20% of prisoners who were not captured in Iraq or Afghanistan, most of them are low-level Taliban or al-Qaeda fighters who were detained in the conflict's initial stages. A few others are high-ranking officials such as Osama bin Laden's number two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri. But most of these people were captured before 2001 and mostly released into security agreements called "peace deals" with Afghanistan's government.
The US Department of Defense confirms keeping 99 American citizens arrested in Afghanistan during the "war on terror," one of whom was kept at Guantanamo for a period. Guantanamo was only meant to be utilized for non-American detainees. However, from 2002 to 2013, it also held American citizens.
Guantanamo has been heavily criticized by human rights groups, who say that the detention of innocent people is unjust. There are currently 166 prisoners being held at the facility, including 35 women and six children.
The United States took custody of each prisoner in accordance with the law of war. The United States military has stated that none of those detained were the sole member of their group or nation and all were treated according to the principles embodied in the Geneva Conventions.
However, some have alleged that the United States has violated the conventions by holding them without charge or trial. Additionally, some have charged that the United States has engaged in torture while holding its citizens at Guantanamo.
The US Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the government cannot hold foreign nationals captured abroad if there is no American interest to be protected or criminal activity to be investigated. However, several cases are still making their way through the courts with many expected to be released soon.
Many people still see the roughly 780 men and boys incarcerated at isolated Guantanamo as nameless, similarly dressed inmates trapped behind razor wire. Forty of them are still there now, while the others have been repatriated or are scattered over the world. However, in the tug of battle for openness, time triumphs. The Obama administration has announced its intention to close the prison, but only Congress can shut it down.
When the prison first opened its doors in January 2002, it was seen as a way to fight terrorism by holding suspected militants outside the normal judicial system. However, after 9/11 many people were rounded up and held without charge or trial. Some were later found to have nothing to do with terrorism and many others were released without being charged or going through the court process.
The prison remains controversial around the world because it is viewed as a place where innocent people are held without trial. There are also questions about how secure it is to hold prisoners without charges for years at a time. In June 2015, President Obama signed an executive order to close the prison, but this does not actually shut it down. He can re-open it if he decides more people should be sent there.
Guantanamo has become synonymous with abuse of power by governments who want to keep their actions secret. This includes the United States, which invaded Afghanistan in 2001 on suspicion that Osama bin Laden was living there.