US military to expand Guantanamo Bay camp.

In another sign that the US detention mission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is set for the long haul, the military announced Sunday it is building a fifth camp to hold more detainees and expand interrogation facilities.

Camp V will make room for 100 more detainees, increasing the capacity at the remote naval base in eastern Cuba to 1,100, Lieutenant-Colonel Pamela Hart said in a telephone interview.

Since it first opened in January last year, the detention center has grown from open-air, chain-link cells that s ome likened to animal cages to trailer-style quarters where detainees have a metal bed, a sink and flush toilets.

It currently holds about 660 men from 42 countries detained for alleged links to the al-Qaeda terror network or the ousted Afghan Taliban regime that sheltered it. They include three teens aged 13 to 15 whom the military says it probably will recommend for release soon.

Hart, a spokeswoman for the detention mission, said the new camp also will hold more interrogation rooms.

Asked about the growing permanence of the camp, Hart said "We will be here as long as the war on terrorism continues."

The Miami Herald broke the news Sunday of the construction of the new camp, citing an interview with the chief of the detention mission, Major-General Geoffrey Miller.

In addition to increasing capacity for more detainees, new interrogation facilities will be installed to replace trailers that were used on Camp Delta's perimeter, Hart said.

Construction began recently and is expected to be finished sometime next year, officials said.

Meanwhile, preparations continue for possible military tribunals, with a courthouse and permanent detention center for any convicts.

The tribunals also have power to impose the death sentence but officials say they have not built an execution chamber, though they have plans for every eventuality.

[Source: AP, Tuesday, Aug 26, 2003]

State of Exception and Human Rights

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This document has been published on 26May03 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights