Trump orders Guantanamo detention center to stay open

Trump orders Guantanamo detention center to stay open

Trump orders Guantanamo detention center to stay open

Trump would do so by issuing an executive order that retains the USA right to move new detainees to the facility if warranted, but there are no plans to do so, according to a State Department official.

"In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of risky terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield", Trump said.

Obama's 2009 executive order stated the detention center should be closed "as soon as practicable", but it remained open because of opposition to its closure from the U.S. Congress.

The order, which Mr Trump signed just before delivering his first State of the Union address, says the USA maintains the option to detain additional enemy combatants at the detention centre in Cuba when lawful and necessary to protect U.S. national security. "Terrorists are not merely criminals".

The executive order authorized the USA military to add detainees and suggested the possibility that captured Islamic State militants could be sent there for the first time. However, this is the first formal reversal of former President Obama's effort to close it down.

The prison, which was opened by President George W. Bush to hold suspected militants captured overseas after the September 11, 2001, attacks, came to symbolize harsh detention practices that opened the United States to accusations of torture.

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"And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are", Mr Trump said during Tuesday's speech.

The order also said that United States detention operations at Guantanamo Bay are safe, legal, humane and consistent with worldwide law. Bush transferred about 500 out before he left office.

In order to hold a prisoner as an enemy combatant, the government must be able to prove that the detainee is a fighter for an enemy force with whom the in a state of armed conflict.

He has been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2006.

Mr Trump's order says this review process would continue to be used to determine whether detainees should be held.

During his 2016 election campaign for the USA presidency, Trump pledged to keep the facility open, saying, "We're gonna load it up with some bad dudes, believe me, we're gonna load it up".

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