1. Congressional delegation walking through cell block yard
2. Members of delegation entering cell
3. Bed inside cell
4. Slippers on bed
5. Koran hanging on wall
6. SOUNDBITE: (English) Captain Eric Kaniut, US Soldier:
"The question was if a guard has to touch the Koran what are the procedures. That is the absolute last case. The procedures will be that the guards will wear gloves."
7. Door of cell
8. Various of detainees in yard
9. Guard on watchtower
10. Delegation talking to press
11. SOUNDBITE: (English) Representative Ellen Tauscher, Democrat, California:
"What I learned today is that the Guantanamo we saw today is not the Guantanamo we heard about a few years ago. This is a facility that I believe is on par, it's run by the Pentagon, but I believe it's on par with American prisons back at home. It is very clear that the people, most of the people here are deadly dangerous. They're intent to kill Americans, American blood is on their hands, we have to contain them, but at the same time I think it's vitally important that we continue to process to have an end state, to have a finality to this."
12. House Armed Services Committee, Representative Duncan Hunter, Republican, California, eating the same lunch given to detainees, UPSOUND: "This is lemon chicken, its quite good."
13. Member of delegation eating lunch
14. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat, Texas eating lunch and talking to guard
15. Guards handing out lunch to detainees through their cell doors
16. Cell doors
17. UPSOUND detainees yelling through doors
18. Interior of interrogation room
21. Interior of prison cell showing cot and toilet at Camp Five, newest facility at Guantanamo
22. Various personal objects of detainee displayed on bed
During a tour of the U-S prison for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on Saturday, House Republicans and Democrats, including one who has advocated closing the facility, said the United States has made progress in improving conditions and protecting detainees' rights.
The U-S lawmakers witnessed interrogations, toured cellblocks and ate the same lunch given to detainees on the first congressional visit to the prison since criticism of it intensified in the spring. A Senate delegation was also visiting this weekend.
"The Guantanamo we saw today is not the Guantanamo we heard about a few years ago," said Democrat Representative Ellen Tauscher of California.
Still, lawmakers from both parties agree more must be done to ensure an adequate legal process is in place to handle detainee cases.
Republicans and Democrats alike fear the prison at the U-S Navy base in eastern Cuba is hurting the United States' image because of claims that interrogators have abused and tortured inmates. The White House and Pentagon have said conditions are humane and detainees are well-treated.
Lawmakers wanted to see for themselves.
After getting a classified briefing from base commanders, the House delegation ate lunch with troops - the same meal of chicken, rice and okra that detainees were served. They then toured several of the barbed-wire camps where detainees are housed, viewing small cells, dusty recreation yards and common areas.
From behind one-way mirrors, lawmakers watched interrogators grilling three individual terror suspects. None of the interrogators touched detainees.
In one session, they questioned a man who defence officials said was a Saudi national and admitted al-Qaida member who was picked up in Afghanistan and knew nine of the September 11th hijackers.
In another, a female interrogator took an unusual approach to wear down a detainee, reading a Harry Potter book aloud for hours. He turned his back and put his hands over his ears.
At a communal camp for those given privileges because of good behaviour, bearded detainees in white frocks, flip-flops and skull caps quietly lingered near lawmakers, although from behind fences.
Representative Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, is one of many Democrats who have called for an independent commission to investigate abuse allegations and have said the facility should close.
The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Republican Representative Duncan Hunter of California, questioned the criteria for determining when a detainee can be released.
The White House and Pentagon have defended their policies at the prison almost daily in recent weeks.
At a news conference last week, the president went so far as to invite journalists to visit the prison and see that the allegations were false. The Pentagon says about 400 news organisations have toured the prison since it opened.
A small press contingent joined House lawmakers on this weekend's trip. However, military escorts controlled how much journalists were able to see and hear.
On a tour of one camp occupied by detainees considered "high value" for providing intelligence, detainees in cells were clearly upset at the sound of visitors, shouting foreign words and pounding on closed doors while journalists entered an interrogation room - empty except for a set of handcuffs, a folding chair, a small table and two padded office chairs.
Last week, human rights investigators for the United Nations urged the U-S to allow them inside to inspect the facility. They cited "persistent and credible" reports of "serious allegations of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees" as well as arbitrary detentions and violations of rights.
The prison on the base in eastern Cuba opened in January 2002 to house foreigners believed to be linked to al-Qaida or the ousted Taliban in Afghanistan. U-S officials hoped to gather intelligence from the detainees after the U-S invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001.
US President Bush declared the detainees "enemy combatants," affording them fewer rights than prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions.
Some detainees have been held for three years without being charged with any crimes.
Prisoner rights , Treatment of prisoners , Legislature , Government and politics , Crime , Human rights and civil liberties , Social issues , Social affairs , Prisoner rights , Human welfare , General news
Ellen Tauscher , Duncan Hunter , Sheila Jackson Lee
U.S. Department of Defense, Al-Qaida, United States government
Cuba , Afghanistan , Caribbean , Latin America and Caribbean , Central Asia , Asia