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Monday, 8 January 2007, 15:19 GMT
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Guantanamo prison timeline
10 January, 2002
A US plane leaves Afghanistan bound for Cuban base
Twenty suspected alQaeda or Taleban militants leave Kandahar bound for a new prison camp set up in Americas Cuban naval base Guantanamo Bay. TV footage shows men hooded and chained together shuffling towards the plane.
11 January, 2002
First prisoners arrive at the camp
Journalists are allowed to watch but not record the first arrivals. Dressed in US prisonissue orange jumpsuits the detainees enter Camp Xray where the cells are exposed cages and beds are mats on the floor.
15 January, 2002
Donald Rumsfeld defends treatment of prisoners
The then US Defence Secretary insists the detainees are being treated humanely in the wake of concerns by human rights groups. Human Rights Watch describes the wire fence cells as a "scandal". Much of the controversy has centred on whether the prisoners have rights under the Geneva Convention. Mr Rumsfeld said earlier that they did not describing them as "unlawful combatants" rather than prisoners of war.
18 January, 2002
An International Red Cross team visits the camp
27 February, 2002
Detainees begin a hunger strike
Detainees protest at the removal by guards of an inmate's turban during prayer. A few days later they win the right to wear turbans and to get weekly briefings on the progress of legal proceedings.
22 March, 2002
Officials say detainees will be tried by special military commissions
29 April, 2002
Camp Xray closed new prison opens
US officials reveal that 300 inmates have been moved out of Xray to a newly built prison with better facilities three miles away. Journalists are not allowed to witness the transfer to Camp Delta which is said to be uneventful.
15 August, 2002
At least 30 detainees have tried to commit suicide doctors say
28 October, 2002
A number of inmates are freed
US officials say three Afghans and one Pakistani have been released from the camp after it was decided they are no longer a threat nor of any intelligence value. The freed men are flown to Afghanistan.
11 March, 2003
Ruling made on detainees rights
A US appeals court rules that the detainees do not have the right to hearings in American courts. Families of 16 inmates had argued the suspects were being unfairly held without charge.
3 August, 2003
Warning purported to be from alQaeda issued
An audio tape said to be from top alQaeda official Ayman alZawahri warns the US will pay a "high price" if any of the men it is holding at Guantanamo Bay are harmed.
21 September, 2003
A Muslim US Army chaplain is detained on suspicion of spying
A ChineseAmerican convert to Islam Captain James Yee is held and subsequently charged with misusing classified material. The chaplain is eventually cleared of all charges related to espionage. Later two translators are also detained for security breaches.
10 October, 2003
Criticism by International Red Cross official
A top Red Cross official breaks with tradition by publicly attacking conditions at the camp. Christophe Girod says it is unacceptable to hold 600 people indefinitely without legal safeguards.
10 November, 2003
US Supreme Court agrees to hear appeals
Detainees claim that they are being held illegally. The Supreme Court says it will examine whether the inmates' detentions are any business of the US legal system.
3 December, 2003
Australian citizen David Hicks is first nonAmerican to be allowed a lawyer
13 February, 2004
Detentions to be reviewed
The US announces it will review the detentions of Camp Delta inmates once a year through threemember panels which must decide if they still pose a threat to America.
24 February, 2004
Two alleged alQaeda members charged with conspiracy to commit war crimes
The Pentagon named the men as Ali Hamza Ahmed Sulayman alBahlul of Yemen and Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud alQosi of Sudan. They are alleged to have been bodyguards of alQaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
19 March, 2004
Five British detainees freed
In the months that follow dozens of other inmates are released to their home countries including Afghans Pakistanis Russians Frenchmen and others.
6 January, 2005
Investigation into prisoner abuse allegations
The Pentagon announces an internal investigation into allegations of prisoner abuse. In June it reports that 10 cases of misconduct by guards have occurred since the camp opened and all those guilty have been disciplined.
11 May, 2005
Riots over Koran desecration claims
A US magazine report later withdrawn of a Koran being flushed down a camp toilet by US guards sparks an angry protest by Muslims in Afghanistan in which four people die. A military inquiry finds no evidence of the offence.
22 July, 2005
US military reports that 52 inmates are on a new hunger strike
15 February, 2006
Guantanamo film gets world premiere
Michael Winterbottom's film The Road to Guantanamo has its world premiere. It purports to tell the true story of three British Muslims held at the camp before being released without charge.
16 February, 2006
UN officials call for Camp Delta to be closed
UN human rights investigators call for the immediate closure of Camp Delta saying some inmates treatment amounts to torture and detainees should be either tried or freed. The US rejects the call.
4 March, 2006
Some inmates names and nationalities declassified
12 May, 2006
Exdetainees win right to sue on religious grounds
Four former British detainees win the right to bring a lawsuit against the US government for violating their religious beliefs. Previous attempts to bring claims have been blocked by the US.
10 June, 2006
Three detainees hang themselves
The hangings appear to have been a suicide pact. A US official describes the suicides as a PR move but the US state department distances itself from the remark.
21 June, 2006
President Bush speaks of wish to close camp
President Bush says in a newspaper interview that he would like to close the camp and send many detainees back to their home countries but some inmates would need to be put on trial in the US because they are "coldblooded killers".
29 June, 2006
Supreme Court rules against military tribunals
The US Supreme Court rules that the Bush administration does not have the authority to try terrorism suspects by military tribunal but leaves the way open for the president to seek Congressional approval for their resumption.
6 September, 2006
Key terror suspects moved from CIA custody
Fourteen key terror suspects previously held in secret CIA prisons are sent to Guantanamo. They include the alleged planners of the 911 attacks Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Abu Zubaydah and Ramzi Binalshibh as well as Hambali who is believed to be operations chief for the SouthEast Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiah JI.
7 September, 2006
Some terror suspects may face military tribunals
Key terror suspects held in the camp could go on trial by military tribunal early in 2007 US military prosecutors say. The US Senate later approves the new tribunals after much debate.
14 October, 2006
The Pentagon orders a fresh abuse inquiry
The inquiry into allegations of abuse comes after a marine sergeant Heather Cerveny says she understood "striking detainees was a common practice" after visiting the camp.
7 December, 2006
Detainees moved to new maximumsecurity centre
The US begins moving inmates into Camp Six a new 178cell maximumsecurity prison built in Guantanamo at a cost of 37m. About 430 men are believed to remain in detention.
11 January, 2007
Antiwar protesters mark fifth anniversary
Twelve protesters demonstrate close to the prison to demand its closure. They include an exdetainee and relatives of another prisoner. Washington London and other cities also see protest rallies.
7 February, 2007
Pentagon finds no evidence of abuses
The investigation launched in October into allegations of mistreatment finds no evidence of abuses to justify action against alleged abusers.
15 March, 2007
Detainee admits 911 and 30 other plots
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed reportedly tells a hearing at Guantanamo that he plotted the 2001 attacks on the US "from A to Z" planned to carry out attacks on other targets including London and personally beheaded abducted US journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan in 2002.
26 March, 2007
US transfers Kenya attacks suspect
Abdul Malik suspected of planning twin attacks in Kenya in 2002 is moved to Guantanamo the US announces. He reportedly admitted a role in the attack on a Mombasa hotel frequented by Israelis and a failed attack on an Israeli airliner.
29 March, 2007
US defence secretary calls for prison to close
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates urges Congress to seek ways to close Guantanamo arguing that military trials at the camp lacked credibility because they had been tainted by the harsh treatment of detainees.
20 May, 2007
Australian terror suspect Hicks flies home
David Hicks convicted of supporting terrorism by a US military court arrives back in Australia from Guantanamo under a deal with prosecutors. He is moved to an Australian jail to serve a further seven months.
31 May, 2007
Suicide reported of detainee from Saudi ArabiaJune 2007
4 June, 2007
Judge throws out case against detainees
A US military judge throws out charges against two detainees on the grounds that they have not been designated "unlawful" enemy combatants. The ruling leaves the tribunal system in legal limbo while government lawyers decide whether to appeal.
29 June, 2007
US Court agrees to admit Guantanamo cases
The US Supreme Court agrees to hear an appeal by detainees that they be allowed to challenge their confinement in federal courts. The move reverses the court's decision in April when it refused to rule on whether the men had a right to take their cases to federal courts. This latest move is a blow to the US government which wants the cases to be dealt with by military tribunals alone.
5 December, 2007
Supreme Court examines rights of detainees
The Court is holding a hearing in two cases that are being seen as a legal showdown over the detention camp. The cases challenge the removal by an act of Congress of the prisoners' right of habeas corpus to take their cases to US civilian courts.
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