Plans to shut Guantanamo Bay have been overwhelmingly rejected by the US Senate, a major political setback for President Barack Obama. The upper house voted 90 to 6 in favour of blocking the transfer of inmates to the US and denied the White House the 58 million euros it needs to close down the controversial detention centre.
Obama is due to announce details of his plan for the centre’s 240 detainees later today. “Its very important that the American people and the world know exactly what happens to these people. Where are they going to be, how are they going to be imprisoned, how are they going to be tried and what are the rules regarding their release? Until that is done, I think it is a mistake to talk about closing Guantanamo Bay.” said one Senator.
Shutting Guantanamo was one of the first policy announcements made by Obama after he was sworn in as President in January. The centre, which houses terrorism suspects, has been a continuing focus of criticism due to its system of detention without trial and harsh interrogation techniques.