Washington, Jan 31: US President Dold Trump has signed an executive order to keep Guantámo Bay military prison open in a major reversal of his predecessor Barack Obama’s policy.
Announcing the move in the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, Trump said he had just signed the order directing Defence Secretary James Mattis to “re-examine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantámo Bay”.
The decision reverses Obama’s policy. He had said he wanted to close the controversial site “as soon as practicable”.
In his speech, Trump raised the prospect of the Islamic State prisoners being sent to Guantámo Bay, CNN reported.
“I am asking Congress to ensure that in the fight against the IS and Al Qaeda we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists wherever we chase them down, wherever we find them. And in many cases for them it will now be Guantámo Bay,” Trump said.
“The US may transport additiol detainees to US val Station Guantamo Bay when lawful and necessary to protect the tion,” the order stated.
It called the detention operations at the facility “legal, safe, humane, and conducted consistent with the US and intertiol law”.
The facility in Cuba has been used since the 9/11 attacks to detain what Washington calls “enemy combatants”, but only 41 prisoners remain there.
Hundreds were transferred away from the facility during the Obama era. A White House statement confirmed the order had been signed to resist the detention facility’s closure. (IANS)