White House aims to shut down detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

The detention center was opened about 19 years ago.
Razor wire on fence at prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 2016

The White House on Friday said that President Biden is aiming to nix the prison located at America's Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki noted that it is the administration's "intention" to shut down the facility, known as GITMO, according to the Associated Press. The outlet noted that Biden during his candidacy said that he backed shutting down the detention facility.

"We are undertaking an NSC process to assess the current state of play that the Biden administration has inherited from the previous administration, in line with our broader goal of closing Guantanamo," National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne told NPR. "There will be a robust interagency process to move forward on this, but we need to have the right people seated to do this important work."

The detention center was opened in January 2002, to hold people suspected of connections to al-Qaida and the Taliban, according to the AP, which said the facility "became a source of international criticism over the mistreatment of prisoners and the prolonged imprisonment of people without charge." There are currently 40 people held there.