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Gitmo by the Numbers

Take a tour of the communal-living detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

The prison at Guantanamo Bay holds 166 detainees captured and transferred to Cuba in coordination with U.S. counterterrorism operations abroad.

Recently, more than half of the detainees have gone on hunger strikes protesting their living conditions and indefinite containment.

How big is the place and how long are inmates closed in their cells? We have some stats:



Number of hours (midnight to 4 a.m.) that detainees in the complaint part of the camp are locked in their individual cells. They can move around the communal areas during all other hours.


Number of detainees who first arrived at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay on Jan. 11, 2002. The Bush administration established the detention facility to hold terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.


Square mileage of the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay that houses the detention camps, which include separate facilities ranging from communal living to maximum security.


Number of detainees held in Guantanamo as of today’s date.


Number of detainees that have been transferred from the facility over the years.


Number of secret files on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay that the website WikiLeaks made public in 2011. The New York Times lists them all here.


Year that Cuba and the United States signed a lease agreement in which Cuba maintained ultimate sovereignty over Guantanamo Bay but gave the United States jurisdiction and control over the area for a coaling station and naval purposes. The lease is controversial in Cuba, and the country’s leader Fidel Castro has refused to cash any of the rental payments from the United States, though one check was accidentally cashed.


The year President Obama said he would close the detention facility in a year and move prisoners to a Thomson, Ill., facility. But various statutes restricted the transfer of detainees, so the prison at Guantanamo Bay remained open. The Government Accountability Office released a report in November 2012 on the capability of U.S. facilities to house Guantanamo detainees in case the restrictions were lifted.

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