On January 11, 2002, the first detainees were brought to the US military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The first detainees were captured in the course of the war on terror declared following the 9/11 terror attacks. The detainees were designated as unlawful enemy combatants by the administration of President George W. Bush, which argued that they were not subject to the Geneva Conventions because they were members of the Taliban and not a national military force. Additionally, the administration argued that by being held at Guantanamo Bay, the detainees were not subject to US law. The detention center has remained a point of intense controversy in the US and internationally. Shortly after taking office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order calling for the closure of the center within a year. The deadline was missed, but the Obama administration has repeatedly affirmed its commitment to closing the facility.
Learn more about the legal controversy surrounding Guantanamo Bay from the JURIST news archive.