Prosecutor: Inmates Prefer Gitmo to Freedom

“Some prisoners being held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba would rather remain in American custody there than be released to return to their home countries, a former Gitmo prosecutor said.

“Interestingly, some detainees were offered release, and asked to stay in Gitmo,” Kyndra Rotunda, who served in the Army Judge Advocate General’s office, told CNS News.

“They prefer captivity in Gitmo to freedom in their own countries.”

Just last week, black-hooded activists with the group Witness Against Torture protested outside the White House, claiming in a news release that the Obama administration was responsible for the “ongoing torture, mistreatment and indefinite detention of troops at Guantanamo Bay.”

But far from being tortured, Rotunda said prisoners at Gitmo are given a wide range of freedoms.

“They are outside of their housing bays for up to 12 hours a day. During that time, they can take classes, visit the library — which has over 5,000 titles, including the Harry Potter series translated into Arabic — exercise, check out movies or games, play sports — detainees can chose from a selection of athletic shoes — or even visit the computer lab.”

Rotunda is now a civilian teaching military and international law at Chapman University Law School in Southern California, and she lectures at the University of California at Berkeley. She is the author of “Honor Bound: Inside the Guantanamo Trials,” about her experiences at Gitmo.

All detainees are allowed to freely practice their religion at Gitmo, she told CNS News.

“The Muslim call to prayer is broadcast over loudspeakers five times a day. During this time, the prison guards are instructed to give each detainee 20 minutes of uninterrupted time, even if the detainee is not praying.

“When I was in Gitmo, the camp commander hosted a celebration for detainees to mark the end of Ramadan and flew in seasonal nuts and dates for the celebration,” she added.

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