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Guantanamo Voices

25 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 25 February 2014

The US military prison at Guantanamo Bay is arguably the world’s most famous and most controversial detention facility. Eight hundred citizens from 48 countries were detained there, most of them from Afghanistan. The prison was established to hold persons classified as “enemy combatants" by the Bush administration in January 2002 following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Since then, there have been calls for the closure of the detention camp. Many US officials accept that the camp's existence has tarnished the US’s reputation as a beacon of freedom. President Obama has pledged to close Guantanamo saying that it hurts America’s “international standing”. Although most of the prisoners have now been released or sent to other countries, more than 150 prisoners are still held there.

As the US-led NATO’s combat mission in Afghanistan ends in 2014, the BBC’s Dawood Azami assesses the damage Guantanamo did to the US’s international reputation by visiting Guantanamo prison and talking to ex-Guantanamo detainees in Pakistan and Afghanistan about freedom and the way the prison changed their lives and thinking.


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