The Guantanamo Bay detention camp is just a microcosm of the US violations of human rights in overseas territory, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said after a recent United Nations report slammed Washington for its ongoing infringements of international law at the notorious site.
The report, published earlier this month, said that the prisoners there are still subjected to inhumane treatment. It called on the US government to take responsibility for its actions and apologize, provide assistance, and compensate the victims, CGTN reported.
Mao stated that over the past 20 years, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp has repeatedly been exposed for its abuses, causing great indignation in the international community.
The United States has repeatedly promised to close this prison, but to this day, it still detains dozens of individuals, among whom only a few have been charged or convicted, she added.
Under the pretext of the so-called war on terror, the US has established “black sites” in at least 54 countries and regions, where suspected terrorists are secretly detained and tortured, Mao continued.
These black sites are a typical example of the US trampling on the rule of law and human rights, Mao said, adding that it should earnestly reflect on the crimes it has committed, apologize and compensate the victims, and hold accountable those responsible for authorizing and implementing torture under the law.
The Gitmo opened in 2002 under the-then US president George W. Bush to held detainees captured during the so-called “war on terror” after Al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, DC on September 11, 2001.
It became synonymous with prisoner abuse by the US in the early years of “war on terror”, gaining global notoriety for the widespread use of torture and other violations of human rights that took place in it.
Many detainees were reportedly subjected to psychological and physical abuse — including waterboarding, beating, exposure to deafening noise, and sleep and food deprivation — as part of their “enhanced interrogation”, the accounts of which were gradually leaked to the outside world by the few lawyers who visited the prison and the inmates who have since been released.
Washington’s promises of closing down the site go back to the first tenure of former President Barack Obama, between 2009 and 2013. Obama had made the closing of Guantanamo one of his top priorities and issued an executive order to do so soon after taking office in 2009. However, he failed to achieve that goal by the end of his second term in the face of stiff opposition in Congress. His successor, Donald Trump, rescinded Obama’s order to close Guantanamo.
Officials of President Joe Biden say they aim to close the infamous prison but the detention facility remains in operation as the administration has transferred several detainees in recent years.