23 Jan 2009

Obama orders closure of Guantanamo camp

8:53 am on 23 January 2009

President Barack Obama has ordered the closing of Guantanamo prison.

Mr Obama on Thursday set a one-year deadline for shutting Guantanamo and also barred harsh treatment of terrorism suspects held there.

The president has also ordered the closure of all CIA detention centres set up abroad to hold terror suspects.

The transfer of terror suspects to these prisons was widely criticised after they came to light in the wake of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Mr Obama has also limited the methods investigators can use to question terrorism suspects. The BBC reports threats, coercion, physical abuse and waterboarding are now all banned.

The prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba has damaged America's standing in the world.

Prisoners have been detained there for years without charge. Some were subjected to interrogation that human rights groups say amounted to torture.