Mos Definitely not for the squeamish: rapper submits to the Gitmo force-feed

Published July 10th, 2013 - 04:06 GMT
Razor wire is seen on the fence around the currently closed Camp X-Ray which was the first detention facility to hold 'enemy combatants' at the U.S. Naval Station on June 27, 2013 in Guantanamo Bay, CubaBarbed wire (Getty Images/Joe Raedle)
Razor wire is seen on the fence around the currently closed Camp X-Ray which was the first detention facility to hold 'enemy combatants' at the U.S. Naval Station on June 27, 2013 in Guantanamo Bay, CubaBarbed wire (Getty Images/Joe Raedle)

The charity Reprieve, the non-profit organisation which campaigns for improved prisoners' rights, has launched a video with US rapper Yasiin Bey-better known as Mos Def- to protest against the force-feeding of Guantanamo Bay inmates.

In the video, directed by Bafta winner Asif Kapadia, the Muslim singer is pinned down to a chair,  the force-feeding procedure staged out in full force. Bey's elegant designer attire has been swapped for Guantanamo's now notorious orange jumpsuit. Designer bling has been replaced by a gold chain wrapped tightly across the groin to prevent him from moving.

Tubes are stuck up Bey's nose; it is wince-inducing stuff. He moans and tosses about. "Please don't, don't", he pleads.

The entire force-feeding procedure, however, we never come to see. Before long the singer cries for the doctors to stop.

The video states that the full procedure- which inmates undergo twice a day-  takes up to 2 hours.

According to Reprieve, the inmates currently on hunger strike now number over a hundred. The movement dates back to February of this year, when prisoners sought to protest against their detention, as many have never been charged or tried.

The video comes at a sensitive time for the Obama administration, already under pressure from critics to close the detention center. However its decision to continue force-feeding prisoners during Ramadan has provoked upset across the Arab world .

 Reprieve's Director and attorney for Guatanamo prisoners Clive Stafford Smith, said in a statement: "President Obama could take the steps needed to release cleared prisoners from Guantanamo any time he likes, but so far has lacked the political courage to do so. We hope that public solidarity with the hunger-strikers in Guantanamo will persuade him to change his mind."

In any case, the graphic nature of the video should certainly make its mark- if not leave a sour taste in the mouth.


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