US Defends Conditions Inside Gitmo

Military releases rare photos of cell to prove conditions OK in 'Five Echo'

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 10, 2011 5:23 AM CST

(Newser) – To defend conditions in a disciplinary block at Guantanamo Bay prison, US military officials have released photos of the rarely seen interior, reports the AP. "Five Echo," a section of the prison used for "noncompliant" detainees, had been accused of violating Geneva Conventions by lawyers for some of the detainees, who said its cells are so small small, lights are so bright, and air quality so poor that they are inhumane. "Five Echo is really a throwback to the bad old days at Guantanamo," said an attorney representing three inmates.

But Gitmo officials disputed those characterizations, saying the cells were, by nature, worse than regular cells, but still acceptable. "It is safe, human, and meets all the regulations," says an Army representative. Army officials said the disciplinary section of the prison, Camp Five, is currently about half-full, with about 50 prisoners, but subsection Five Echo is completely empty. The 15 most notorious prisoners at the camp are kept in the top-secret Camp Seven.

In this image released by the US Military Joint Task Force Guantanamo, the interior of a cell from a disciplinary block known as Five Echo is pictured with a wide-angle lens.
In this image released by the US Military Joint Task Force Guantanamo, the interior of a cell from a disciplinary block known as Five Echo is pictured with a wide-angle lens.   (AP Photo/U.S. Military, MC2 Kilho Park)
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