Location: Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba
Notable Residents: Imprisoned al-Quaeda members
Amenities: All the physical and psychological torment you can stomach
Much has been said about Gitmo, the controversial detainment and interrogation facility located inside Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. It was established in 2002 by the Bush Administration to hold prisoners from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the 1970s, the base was used to detain refugees from Haiti and Cuba, and also house Cuban refugees in Camp Bulkeley until that was deemed unconstitutional.
Guantanamo Bay is broken down into three camps: Camp Delta, which is a 612-unit detention center; Camp Iguana, a smaller, low-security compound; and Camp X-Ray, which closed in 2002. Its inhabitants were transferred to the larger Camp Delta.
There have been reports of abuse at Guantanamo Bay, with the most common being because of religion. Prisoners allege that the Qur'an has been defaced and even flushed down the toilet in front of them. Released detainees and Red Cross inspectors claim to have witnessed torture including beatings, sleep deprivation, confinement to cold cells, forced drugging, and sexual degradation. There have been multiple suicide attempts, and a number of minors have been detained there. As of today, September 12, 2012, nine prisoners have died at Gitmo. Six of those deaths were the result of suicide.
President Obama vowed to suspend operations at Guantanamo Bay, and shortly after taking office, signed an order to pause work done by the Guantanamo military commission for 120 days. Unfortunately, the camp has been difficult to close due to strong opposition within Congress.
Nearly 800 prisoners have been detained at Guantanamo Bay, and over 160 detainees still remain.