GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba – It looks like a summer camp with manicured lawns, a dusty soccer field and a library of kids’ movies, but the fenced compound of Iguana House holds three teenagers accused of fighting alongside Afghanistan’s ousted Taliban.
Human rights advocates say the U.S. military should long ago have released the boys, between the ages of 13 and 15, but detention mission commander Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller said this week their freedom is being held up at higher levels.
Soldiers guard them day and night, never shutting their bedroom doors and monitoring them on wide-angle mirrors on the walls. The bathroom remains open, a small curtain covering part of the doorway for privacy.
“We’re concerned that a prolonged separation from their families may cause a deterioration in their mental health,” said Jo Becker, of the New York-based group Human Rights Watch.
The boys, who wear orange jumpsuits, undergo more than an hour of group therapy twice a week and also meet with psychiatrists.
Miller recommended in August that they be sent back to their home countries. The request is awaiting approval by the Pentagon and other agencies, Miller said, adding he expects a decision soon”¦