NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP)– Wednesday marks the 21st anniversary since the United States started bringing detainees to a Naval base in Cuba in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

It’s something demonstrators in Northampton are speaking out against and want the facility to be shut down, saying the incarceration has been going on for too long and the detainees who are still there deserve justice.

People gathered on Main Street in Northampton, and at other locations across the country, to call for the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay to be closed. The United States started bringing suspected terrorists there during the investigation of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001. Protesters say they hope this will be the last time they need to protest.

According to the organization No More Guantanamos, multiple prisoners were tortured and only a few prisoners have been charged with any crimes. Nine men have died in the prison, and 745 have been transferred to their home countries or resettled elsewhere after having spent years and sometimes a decade or more imprisoned without charge.

“If we had just followed the rule of law, arrested people who had committed crimes and tried them and jailed them, we would be much better off. This has been a poor example for the United States,” said Nancy Talanian, Director of No More Guantanamos.

The organization says that 20 of the 35 men who remain in Guantanamo have been cleared for transfer, yet they remain confined until the Biden administration can find a country that is willing to accept them. One was convicted and another pled guilty to war crimes.  Ten more await trial by military commission. 

President Biden has expressed interest in shutting down the detention center, much like President Obama, however that still has not happened yet.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), there are still 35 men who remain indefinitely detained.