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Last Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006, 03:10 GMT
US opens new Guantanamo camp jail
Guantanamo Bay detention camp
Guantanamo Bay's old wire-fence cells are being phased out
The US has begun moving terror suspects detained at Guantanamo Bay into a new $37m (19m) maximum-security prison.

Forty-two prisoners were transferred from another high-security facility on the US naval base in eastern Cuba, the Associated Press reported.

The new 178-cell prison will allow commanders to close the wire-fence camp originally built for early detainees.

The US holds some 430 men at Guantanamo Bay on suspicion of links to al-Qaeda or the Taleban, most without charge.

UN human rights investigators and foreign governments have called on the US government to close the entire detention centre.

But the new facility has been built to provide more permanent secure accommodation for those judged to be "enemy combatants" and detained by the US military.

Guard security

The new facility is designed to limit contact between detainees and reduce the risks of attacks on staff, AP reported.

The individual cells contain long, narrow windows looking out towards communal areas furnished with metal tables and stools.

Designed as a communal living space, that area will now be off-limits.

"The new, climate-controlled camp is designed to improve quality of life for both detainees and the guard force," base Commander Robert Durand told AP.

An open-air recreation area has been divided into smaller spaces, which will hold only one detainee at a time.

There will be facilities for detainees to meet lawyers, plus medical facilities.

The triple suicides at Guantanamo Bay in June prompted fresh protests against the camp from lawyers and human rights activists.

A senior US state department official and a Navy admiral appeared to say the deaths were part of a co-ordinated attempt to discredit the US, calling them "a jihadi tactic" and an act of "asymmetrical warfare".


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