Hip-hop artist and actor Mos Def, also known as Yasiin Bey, underwent a standard force-feeding procedure on video in solidarity with hunger striking prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The video was made by human rights charity Reprieve and Bafta-award winning director Asif Kapadia. In it, Mos Def wears an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs chained from wrist to ankle just as detainees. A tube inserted into his nose is apparently so painful that he has to be restrained by several people. When the tube is removed, he fights and begs technicians not to try it again. He then breaks down in tears.
“When the tube went in, the first part of it is not that bad but you get this burning, I got this burning and it starts to get really unbearable like something was going into my brain," he said. "It reached the back of my throat and I really couldn’t take it.”
The hunger strike began in March after detainees believed guards who searched their cells had not shown respect to their Qurans. According to Reprieve, the hunger strike is a protest against detention without charge or trial and their video is meant to rally support for the cause.
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There are reportedly 106 prisoners who are refusing meals, 45 of which have been put on a force-feeding regimen. The video disputes these numbers — the caption said of 120 prisoners on hunger strike 44 is being force-fed.
The attorneys of four inmates have petitioned President Barack Obama to stop the force-feedings during Ramadan, which began Monday.
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