US rapper force-fed in Guantanamo video protest

ninemsn staff
10:24am July 9, 2013

US rapper and actor Mos Def has been filmed crying and screaming as he is force-fed in a distressing procedure used on hunger-striking detainees in Guantanamo Bay, as part of a video protest.

The video was made by Human Rights organisation Reprieve, which recently lost a US court battle to ban force-feeding, to demonstrate what a number of detainees go through every day, and published on the Guardian.

The footage shows the actor, who also goes by the name Yasiin Bey, dressed in a Guantanamo Bay-style orange jumpsuit with handcuffs and chains on his wrists and ankles.

He is strapped into a chair with belts across his wrists and forehead as a team prepare to feed him following instructions that Reprieve said were revealed in leaked US military documents.

The team dip a drip tube into a packet mixture before forcing it into the actor’s nostril and down the back of his throat to his stomach as he gasps, grunts and coughs.

By the time the tube is pulled out, Mos Def is visible distraught and breathing heavily with tears in his eyes.

He begs to stop the procedure, saying "please stop, stop. This is me, I can't do this please stop," at which point a man off screen is heard calling for the crew to stop.

Mos Def is left sobbing in the chair as people try to comfort him.

"The tube went in and the first part of it is not that bad but then you get this burning," the rapper says after the procedure.

"And then is just starts be like really unbearable, it feels like something is going into my brain and then is starts to reach the back of my throat and I just... I really couldn't take it,"

According to the video, the procedure typically takes two hours to complete and is carried out twice a day.

The instructions were leaked in documents that set out the standard military operating procedure for force-feeding detainees, Reprieve said.

US District Court Judge Gladys Kessler yesterday ruled laws passed by Congress prevented her from intervening in aspects of detention at Guantanamo Bay.

But Judge Kessler urged President Barack Obama to review the controversial practice, citing a speech he made in which he referred to force-feeding, saying “Is that the America we want to leave to our children? Our sense of justice is stronger than that”.

She noted that main petitioner in the case, Jihad Dhiab, feared force-feeding during the day would interfere with his fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, which begins on July 8.

According to the video there are 100 detainees in Guantanamo Bay who are refusing to eat in protest, of those more than 40 are being force-fed.

Author: Alys Francis. Approving editor: Jack Hawke.

Sources: Reprieve, The Guardian, AAP.

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