US President-elect Donald Trump has stepped up his opposition to any new transfer of Guantanamo detainees to other countries, warning that the prisoners in this controversial military prison are “dangerous.”
Trump’s position comes after the New York Times reported that the administration of Barack Obama will shortly announce (before leaving office) the transfer of about 20 prisoners from the Guantanamo military prison.
“There should be no more transfers from Gitmo [the name of the American military detention center]. They are extremely dangerous people and should not have the opportunity to return to the battlefield,” Donald Trump wrote in his official Twitter account.
During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump (who will take office January 20) expressed a willingness to keep the military prison open and “occupy it with criminals,” but never submitted a detailed bill.
In mid-December, The New York Times wrote that the White House had informed the US Congress that it planned to transfer 17 to 18 detainees to several countries soon (Italy, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates).
At present, 59 detainees remain in the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, located in the southern part of Cuba, which was created after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The closure of Guantanamo was one of the promises of Obama’s presidential campaign and his administration since it came to power in 2009, but the process of emptying the military prison was marked by a number of disturbances.
US congressional opposition and the reluctance of countries to welcome terror suspects were singled out as the main obstacles to Obama’s pledge.
Even so, Obama has managed to significantly reduce the number of detainees. When he arrived at the White House, the prison of Guantánamo had 242 prisoners.
Last February, Barack Obama presented a plan that identified 13 sites on American soil that could accommodate Guantanamo detainees.
At the same time, the still President said that the Guantanamo military prison sullied the image of the United States overseas and weakened national security.
The prison, which received the first detainees 14 years ago (in 2002), numbered some 700 prisoners and became a worldwide synonym of acts of torture, indefinite detention and without trial. The orange monkey suits of detainees is another image associated with Guantanamo.