In April, transfers decreased the Guantánamo prison population to 30 bringing President Joe Biden closer to his stated goal of finally closing the notorious prison camp while large obstacles persist with remaining high-profile prisoners and their cases.
Just last week, Biden refused to approve some conditions of a plea bargain that is being brokered by lawyers of five of the 10 remaining detainees which have been charged in the military commissions system. Biden declined to guarantee no post-conviction solitary confinement as well as trauma care for torture victims. The potential deal would see the five defendants plead guilty to terrorism charges and serve life sentences in exchange for being spared the death penalty.
On top of the 10 charged detainees, 16 have already been recommended for transfer, which means that they have not been charged and are no longer recommended to remain in confinement for national security reasons. There have already been 750 other detainees with the same fate that were transferred back to their home countries or in the case of this being deemed unsafe or not possible, a third country that accepted them. Detainments for these prisoners ranged from just a few years to more than two decades. Many men have endured torture at the hands of guards that have been extensively documented. One more detainee at Guantánamo is serving a life sentence. Three others have been deemed unfit for release, yet have not been charged, according to The New York Times.