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Guantanamo detainees relocated to new maximum security prison

[JURIST] A first group of more than 40 detainees held at the US Naval Base Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] were transferred Thursday to a new $37 million dollar maximum-security prison [JURIST report] built [JURIST report] by Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root [JURIST news archive] designed to minimize detainee contact and protect guards from attack. Military officials at the naval base say that isolating the prisoners will improve prison safety. The new prison, which contains 178 cells, will allow the US military to phase out an older facility constructed in 2004, which currently houses "least compliant" prisoners. The US military says that detainees' compliance status is not determined by their cooperation during interrogation [JURIST report], but is rather based on their compliance with facility rules.

An estimated 430 detainees, fewer than a dozen of which been charged with crimes, are held at the Guantanamo Bay, where their status as enemy combatants [JURIST news archive] has been reviewed by US military Combatant Status Review Tribunals [DOD materials]. CSRT proceedings were recently characterized as "show trials" [PDF text; JURIST report] by a Seton Hall Law School study which analyzed transcripts and recordings of 393 detainee hearings. The report noted that the government did not present witnesses at the hearings, denied all detainee requests to examine classified evidence against them, and denied all requests for defense witnesses not housed at Guantanamo Bay. AP has more.

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