First detainees arrived at Guantanamo Bay

On January 11, 2002, the first detainees were brought to the US military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The first detainees had been captured by the US military during the course of the "War on Terror" declared following 9/11. 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 not members of a national military force. Additionally, the administration argued that by being held at Guantanamo Bay, the detainees were not subject to US law. Since its opening, the detention center has remained a point of intense controversy in the US and abroad. Shortly after taking office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order calling for the closure of the center within a year. While the self-imposed deadline was ultimately missed, the Obama administration has repeatedly affirmed its commitment to closing the facility.

Read comprehensive coverage of the legal issues and controversies surrounding Guantanamo Bay in Features.


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