Plans for Wheelchair-Accessible Cells at Gitmo Paint 'Chilling Picture' of Detainees Held Without Trial For Rest of Their Lives

Newly-revealed plans for expanding the Guantanamo Bay prison confirm that the future of the facility focuses on keeping detainees there well into old age—and likely for the rest of their lives.

A decade after President Barack Obama signed an executive order calling for Guantanamo Bay to be shuttered, prison officials are seeking contractors to build a wheelchair-accessible 5,000-square foot compound at the detention center, according to reports by the Middle East Eye andthe Miami Herald.

Human rights advocates on Thursday decried the move.

“Building wheelchair accessible prison cells at Guantanamo paints a deeply chilling picture,” said Maya Foa, director of the British human rights organization Reprieve. “President Trump appears to be planning to detain men—the vast majority of whom have never been charged with a crime or faced a trial—until they die.”

The new wing will contain three handicapped-accessible cells—suggesting that the prison is planning to provide end-of-life care to detainees, many of whom have not been formally charged with any crime or been afforded a trial.

“Indefinite detention has no place in a democratic society. The men who have been cleared for release must be returned home and the prison should be shut once and for all.” —Maya Foa, Reprieve

Lt. Jason Tross, a Guantanamo Bay official, told the Middle East Eye that the new handicapped-accessible cells are indeed planned because the prison is “facing an ageing detainee population.”


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