Benedict Cumberbatch Hopes to ‘Plead’ With Biden to Shut Down Guantanamo Bay After Filming Movie About Real Life Detainee

STXfilms/BBC Films
STXfilms/BBC Films

Marvel’s Avengers star Benedict Cumberbatch says he wants President Joe Biden to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention center after working on the film The Mauritanian.

“Hoping? I’m going to plead with the guy,” the Doctor Strange star told The Independent about his desire to speak with Biden on the issue.

The detention center, situated in a small section of Cuba, was established after the brutal terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, to hold accused terrorists caught making plans to attack the U.S.

Cumberbatch criticized the reported $13 million per detainee per year and the lack of prosecutions that have come out of the facility. “It is a huge spend. It’s the most expensive prison on earth,” Cumberbatch said. “And what are the results? Where are the prosecutions? That’s just being really brutally economic about it, it just doesn’t work.”

Cumberbatch says he was educated on the issue while making the film that follows a real-life detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi, whose memoir Guantanamo Diary, forms the basis for the film. Slahi, portrayed by Tahar Rahim in the movie, spent 14 years in Guantanamo before being released in 2016.

Cumberbatch portrays Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch, a government attorney tasked with prosecuting Slahi. The Lt. Col. ultimately refused to prosecute the Mauritania-born Slahi after finding out how the detainee was treated in Guantanamo.

The actor continued, saying “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.”

Not all detainees released from Guantanamo have been as benign as Slahi. Dozens of detainees returned to terrorism immediately upon being released from the facility. Even the Obama administration was forced to admit in 2016 that some of the detainees released went on to kill Americans after leaving the facility.

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