Centre of controversy: The Guantanamo Bay detention camp has become synonymous with the worst aspects of the US led war on terror. *MCT photo
Centre of controversy: The Guantanamo Bay detention camp has become synonymous with the worst aspects of the US led war on terror. *MCT photo
For the four Chinese Muslims relocated to Bermuda yesterday their new surroundings are a far cry from the place they have known as home for the last eight years.

The notorious U.S.-run detention centre at Guantanamo Bay is a name synonymous with the dark side of the 'war on terror'.

Allegations of torture, arrest without trial and abuse of human rights have sullied the reputation of the U.S. outpost in Cuba, which has been used as a prison for terror suspects since 2001.

Here we take a look at the history of the controversial jail and the reprecussions of its closure.

Set up in 2001 to detain terror suspects rounded up in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the wake of the U.S. led invasion, which followed the September 11 atrocity in New York.

Since October 7, 2001, when the war in Afghanistan began, 775 detainees have been brought to Guantánamo. Of these, approximately 420 have been released without charge. As of January 2009, approximately 245 detainees remained.

Most notorious inmates include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of the September 11 attacks.

The U.S. attracted widespread criticism for its policy of detaining prisoners at Guatanamo indefinitely without trial.

Allegations of torture and abuses of religious freedom of the detainees further hampered the reputation of the prison, which was criticized by the United Nations and human rights watchdogs.

One of the most controversial aspects of Guantanamo was, and remains, the use of military tribunals for detainees, which critics say denied them access to a fair trial.

President Obama, in one of his first actions after taking office, announced a proposal to close the much-maligned facility saying it was not consistent with American values and ideals.

That has proved to be easier said than done as the thorny question of what to do with the remaining inmates has proved a major diplomatic headache for the U.S. The reverberations were felt in Bermuda yesterday after Dr Brown agreed to take four Chinese Muslims not wanted elsewhere.