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 15 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 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.