Second Wave of Detainees Sent to Guantanamo Bay
The thirty left Kandahar late Sunday afternoon under heavy U.S. military guard. Two U.S. military personnel traveled with each detainee, and the prisoners were shackled and had their heads covered throughout the flight.
According to Major Steve Cox at the U.S. base in Cuba, the detainees are being searched, given showers and undergoing thorough medical examinations upon arrival.
The prisoners will then be questioned to determine if they have useful knowledge about Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network, and whether they should be held for military trials. No charges have been filed against any of the captives.
Pentagon Spokeswoman Victoria Clarke denied charges by some human rights groups that the prisoners in Cuba were being kept in small cages and treated inhumanely. She said the prisoners are given three “culturally appropriate” meals a day and an opportunity to exercise, in accordance to the Geneva Convention.
Clarke also added the International Red Cross will most likely be allowed to visit the detainees this week, but added that the U.S. considers them “very, very dangerous captives.”
The military detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Camp X-Ray, is cut off from Cuba by a perimeter fence guarded by U.S. Marines and a second Cuban frontier fence patrolled by Cuban border guards, with a Cuban minefield in between. The camp covers 45 square miles.
According to Clarke, the U.S. military still has 414 detainees in or near Afghanistan: 361 in Kandahar; 52 at the Bagram airbase north of Kabul; and one, American John Walker Lindh, on board the warship USS Bataan in the northern Indian Ocean.