Guantanamo Bay Naval Station Fast Facts
Overview of the Camp:
The Camp is located on an alluvial plain, a few miles northwest of the town of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The camp is comprised of seven permanent enclaves. The first encloye was built in June 2000 and included living quarters designed for 250. The second enclosure was built in 2003, and included a detention center with a capacity for 500 detainees. The second enclosure was built to serve as security cells, administration offices and workshops. The third enclosure, built in June 2004, included 300 detainees, and the final enclosure, built in July 2006, included a detention center with a capacity for a total of 450 detainees. The second and third enclaves hold detainees by accusation alone, while the first and fourth enclaves primarily use allegations of torture and “extraordinary rendition” to hold detainees.
The prison maintains a strict 24-hour, seven-day-a-week lockdown, and does not permit visitation or legal documents between detainees. The prison permits electronic communication between certain detainees, but does not permit visitors into the prison. The prison permits detainees to send written letters to their families and to receive written correspondence from loved ones. The prison does not permit the detainee to speak with an attorney who is not also present with him in the facility. There is no visitation, exercise time, or phone calls to other detainees. The prison is staffed by Haitian customs and prison officers who do not speak the detainee’s native language. The prisoners are allowed to read the Bible, the writings of their fathers and teachers, and to pray while inside the compound. As of January 2004, the camp had a total of nine permanent inmates (see attached list) and an unknown number of detainees.
History and Development:
The first prisoners who were held at the Naval Station were brought in on June 1, 2000. There were initial plans to build a small camp, but the prison officials were concerned about public security and the possible harm that could come from a small detention facility. In an effort to resolve their concern, the prison officials agreed to establish a detention facility in a more remote area, away from the nearest Haitian city. As a result of the agreement, the prison officials decided to build the camp.
The authorities of the prison did not give any details about the nature of the