Guantanamo, a Retrospective in Numbers

Nine years ago today, the U.S. government opened the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In preparation for this anniversary, Human Rights First compiled some of the key facts and figures to remind us of the history of this prison. We include here a highlight: Detainees

  • 779 total prisoners, 173 currently at the prison
  • 6 deaths in custody
  • 48 designated for indefinite detention without charge


  • $150 million annually to operate
  • $650,000 annually per prisoner at Guantanamo
  • $27,251 annually per prisoner in federal courts

Military Commissions and Federal Courts

  • 5 convictions by military commissions
  • over 400 terrorist convictions in federal courts since 9/11
  • 38 unlawful detentions, determined so far by federal courts
  • 4 Supreme Court cases on detainee rights, 4 times the Court sided with detainees

Federal prisons

  • 355 convicted terrorists being held in US prisons
  • 0 escapes

The figures underline that, since day one, Guantanamo has served as nothing but a roadblock in efforts to hold those responsible for the 9/11 attacks accountable for their crimes. Still, Congress voted last month to block transfers of Guantanamo detainees to the United States for ANY reason—including prosecution. It’s time for Congress to work with the Obama Administration to close this facility, repatriate the nearly 100 men who have been cleared for release—many of whom should never have been held in the first place—and prosecute those detainees who deserve to be brought to justice. Sign our petition in support of this action. Read our “Guantanamo by the Numbers” fact sheet for complete information and references for the above figures.


Published on January 11, 2011


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