In the case of one group of prisoners, Muslims from western China known as Uighurs, the U.S. has struggled to find a solution.
A military tribunal has determined that five are "no longer enemy combatants" and can be released from Guantanamo Bay. The U.S. agrees they could face persecution back in China, but so far has not found a third country to take them.
For now, the Uighurs are being kept at Camp Iguana -- a privileged section of the prison where inmates have unlimited recreation time, televisions, stereos and a view of the Caribbean.
A Uighur told a military tribunal that he feared going back to China so much, he considered trying to convince the panel he was guilty, according to a hearing transcript.
"If I am sent back to China, they will torture me really bad," said the man, whose name didn't appear in the transcript. "They will use dogs. They will pull out my nails."
"Home is China and in China you disappear into a dungeon and no one ever hears from you again," said their lawyer, Sabin Willett. "These guys are not a risk to anyone. They should be released here."The Associated Press.