As part of an attempt to “increase organizational performance and effectiveness,” a once-secret unit named ”Camp 7” inside the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba has been closed due to disrepair. The prisoners were transferred to another site, which is adjacent to where the other prisoners on the American base are detained, according to a statement issued by the U.S. military on Sunday.
The prisoners from Camp 7 were transferred to Camp 5 “safely and without incident,” according to the U.S. Southern Command. However, when the transfer took place was not specified. Camp 5, which was almost vacant, is adjacent to Camp 6, which houses the remaining detainees.
Intelligence agencies were involved with the transfer, U.S. Southern Command informed.
The five prisoners charged with war crimes for their suspected involvement in preparing and supplying logistical assistance for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were among those detained at Camp 7.
Camp 7 opened for detainees in Dec. 2006. It was designed for prisoners who had formerly been held in a network of covert CIA detention facilities often referred to as “black sites.” The military ran those sites in cooperation with the CIA, and the inmates were exposed to harsh interrogation techniques.
The military has long declined to admit Camp 7’s existence on the base and has never allowed journalists to visit the site.
Officials said the unit was never meant to be permanent. It had technical flaws and needed to be replaced, but the Pentagon chose not to consider financing its re-construction.
Miami-based Southern Command, which oversees the detention center at the southeastern edge of Cuba, did not mention how many prisoners were moved.
Officials previously reported that about 14 men were held in Camp 7. Guantanamo now holds 40 detainees.
President Joe Biden has stated his desire to close Guantanamo, although this would necessitate congressional approval to transfer any detainees to the United States for trial or incarceration.