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23 Jan, 2009 01:34

Obama orders Guantanamo halt

President Barack Obama is making good on his promise to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He has officially ordered the closure of the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

The move will change the ways the country prosecutes and treats Al-Qaida, the Taliban or other “terrorist” suspects.“This is me following through on, not just a commitment I made during the campaign, but I think an understanding that dates back to our founding fathers, that we are willing to observe core standards of conduct, not just when it's easy, but also when it's hard,” Obama said.The U.S. naval facility has been a major sore point for critics around the world who say it violates detainee rights. Most of the 245 inmates held at the facility have been detained for years without charge.Thursday’s move formed a key part of his election promises, which included a review of military trials of terror suspects and the banning of the harshest interrogation tactics.The prison is to close within a year.Government officials, human rights advocates and former detainees from all over the world welcomed the move.