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Guantanamo Bay: The Legal Ramifications Essay Sample

June 7th, 2016

Terrorist attacks on the 11th of September, 2011 affected not just the USA, but the whole world. It forced the President George W. Bush to announce the US War on Terror a couple of hours after it had happened. That’s why a counter-terrorism campaign Guantanamo Bay, known as a “legal black hole”, was created.

At the southern tip of Cuba there is an island known as Guantanamo. Guantanamo Bay is a detention facility operated by the US authorities serving as a prison for more than 200 detainees living in it. Terrorist attack suspects, political adversaries, country enemies and any person involved or suspected in terrorist acts can be found among the prisoners. Such combatants were captured in the US War on Terror. There are four main acting camps situated there:Camp Delta, Camp Echo, Camp Iguana, and Camp X-Ray. All of them are studiously controlled and watched by the US administration.

Due to the Cuban ban and inability to cross the border, the only way to the island is flying by American aircraft which takes a circuitous route of a three hour’s length. What is more, the access to Guantanamo Naval Base is limited for visitors; apart from the government officials and military, only selected mass media representatives and “habeas lawyers” are welcome.

The Guantanamo detention facility has been seriously criticized and debated by many activists over the past years and there are still a lot of contradictions and arguments for its existence. It was on January 21, 2009 that  Guantanamo Naval Base was promised to be shut down by Barack Obama. This announcement caused a lot of disputes on whether to close the facility or not and the possible effects of doing so.

Human rights activists are combating against Guantanamo Bay and they consider this facility to be a Human Rights violation stronghold. Plus, they continue riots and apply  pressure on Obama’s administration as much as they can.

The riots and strikes were also organized by detainees: some of them went on hunger strikes due to numerous complaints of being kept in close cells with no privacy; inmates state that they are kept in isolation and are not allowed to talk in groups.

But as a matter of fact, each inmate is provided with Islamic religious articles, regular meals and everyday possibility to visit Islamic religious services. There is also a library with wide range of literature accessible to everyone. Detainees have a right to visit the classes and learn different subjects and foreign languages there.

Releasing the detainees may give a green light to future Al-Qaeda terrorist acts. In addition, releasing the inmates doesn’t guarantee the fact that they will not join any terrorist group of the Arabian Peninsula in future. Some detainees do need a good safety cover and released prisoners have to be taken care of. All possibly and factually released captors can’t return to their home countries according to the Release Act, which also complicates the situation.

All in all,making a promise to close the facility was easy, but with the course of events it can be seen that keeping this promise is close to impossible.


1. Ackerman, S. (2016). Guantánamo Bay: Obama reiterates call to close prison in final plan to Congress. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/23/obama-guantanamo-bay-closure-plan-congress [Accessed 1 May 2016].
2. The White House. (2016). President Obama Delivers Remarks on Closing of Guantanamo Bay. [online] Available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2016/02/23/president-obama-delivers-remarks-closing-guantanamo-bay [Accessed 1 May 2016].
3. Closeguantanamo.org. (2016). Our Mission – Welcome to “Close Guantánamo”. [online] Available at: http://www.closeguantanamo.org/Our-Mission [Accessed 1 May 2016].
4. Hrweb.org. (2016). UN Convention Against Torture. [online] Available at: http://www.hrweb.org/legal/cat.html [Accessed 1 May 2016].
5. Congressional Research Service, (2009). Closing the Guantanamo Detention Center: Legal Issues. CRS Report for Congress.
6. Crowley, M. (2013). Why Gitmo Will Never Close | TIME.com. [online] TIME.com. Available at: http://swampland.time.com/2013/05/30/why-gitmo-will-never-close/ [Accessed 16 Jun. 2015].
7. Daskal, J. (2013). Don’t Close Guantánamo. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/11/opinion/dont-close-guantanamo.html [Accessed 16 Jun. 2015].

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