As Obama leaves, Guantanamo Bay prison remains

Wednesday marks 15 years since the US opened "Gitmo," a military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The detention centre was meant to keep suspected terrorists off American soil. Critics accuse it of violating human rights.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Guantanamo Bay detainees, held without trial, worry about their fate under the next US president.

US President Barack Obama vowed at the start of his presidency in 2009 to close the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on an American military base. But eight years later "Gitmo" remains open, and Obama's successor, Donald Trump, promises to "load it up with some bad dudes." 

President George W. Bush opened the prison in January 2002 in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Many of the first inmates were Afghans swept up during the American invasion of Afghanistan in autumn 2001.

Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay describe harsh treatment, forced feeding and torture. Republicans in Congress repeatedly blocked Obama's attempts to close the centre or move its inmates to the mainland, where the Geneva Convention applies. The inmates fear what's next. 

TRT World's Anelise Borges reports.