Mos Def Protests Guantanamo Force-Feedings, Subjects Himself To Procedure [Video]
Mos Def and human rights group Reprieve made a video featuring the hip-hop artist being force-fed, replicating the standard operating procedure observed at Guantanamo Bay for the detainees that remain on a hunger strike.
The protest video begins with disturbing Gitmo statistics: “There are currently 120 detainees on hunger strike in Guantanamo; 44 of them are being force fed against their will,” according to Reprieve.
Mos Def, who changed his given name to Yasiin Bey, enters the frame in civilian clothes. Then, changed into an orange jumpsuit with manacles and chains constricting his arms and legs, he’s placed into a chair. His arms, legs and head are belted into place. The doctors then begin to shove a tube up his nasal cavity and down his throat. Bey’s toes clench, his head oscillates, he twists his torso, coughs and squeezes out a few tears. The doctors continue on attempting the procedure, trying to hold him in place. He eventually pleads, “Nooooo, stop! I said stop it! This is me. Stop it. I can’t do it," and begins to cry.
At Guantanamo, the 44 prisoners subjected to force-feeding must endure the procedure twice a day, each feeding lasting between 20-30 minutes, reported The Guardian. They remain strapped into the chair for a total of two hours for each session to prevent purging. The hunger strike began in February, with roughly 100 prisoners abstaining from food in protest of their prolonged incarceration in the remote prison. A number of the protesting individuals have either never been formally charged or tried, or have been cleared by the U.S. government for release.
"I really want to thank you guys [Reprieve] for setting this up and having the idea to do it. I really didn't know what to expect," Bey said. "When the tube went in, the first part of it is not that bad, but then you get this burning. I got this burning. And it starts to be really unbearable, and it feels like something's going into my brain, and it reached the back of my throat, and I really couldn't take it."