Actor Benedict Cumberbatch has called on President Joe Biden to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. As a producer and star of “The Mauritians” Cumberbatch received a crash course of Guantanamo Bay.
“The Mauritanian” is a legal drama based on Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s 2015 memoir “Guantánamo Diary.” Slahi was captured by the U.S. government and imprisoned in the detention camp for 14 years without being charged or given a trial.
“Hoping? I’m going to plead with the guy,” Cumberbatch when he was asked if he hoped Biden closed down Guantanamo Bay. “It is a huge spend. It’s the most expensive prison on earth. And what are the results? Where are the prosecutions? That’s just being really brutally economic about it, it just doesn’t work.”
“And then you have the human rights issue. It’s an atrocious own goal, I think for the free world to be incarcerating people through extraordinary rendition, torturing them, and extracting confessions they think are then usable in prosecution…it is a really dangerous, unnecessary, and ineffectual place, I think, and enough people have suffered there,” Cumberbatch continued.
Back in early February, the Biden administration announced that “its goal and intention” was to close Guantanamo Bay by the end of the four-year term. The detention camp was established in 2002 by the George W. Bush administration to combat the War on Terror.
During the Obama administration, the number of inmates was reduced from approximately 245 to 41. In January of 2018, Donald Trump signed an executive order keeping the camp open indefinitely.
Cumberbatch stated that he understood the fear that led to the Guantanamo opening.
“U.S. intelligence services were really were under a great deal of strain to try and stop a second attack. And that’s really what I understand galvanized this. But we are, I think, far enough away now from that reaction, that understandable emotional reaction, to question its ongoing validity. And I feel quite strongly that Guantanamo doesn’t have a place in our world,” Cumberbatch said.
“The Mauritanian” has been nominated for five BAFTA Awards, including Best Film and Outstanding British Film. Cast member Jodie Foster won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, while Rahim was nominated in the Best Actor category.