Rapper Mos Def, now known as Yasiin Bey, has subjected himself to force-feeding to highlight the treatment of Guantanamo bay inmates.
The four-minute video, produced by David Morrissey in conjunction with human rights group Reprieve and directed by Bafta award-winning film-maker Asif Kapadia, shows the former rapper visibly upset and pleading for the doctors to stop. It has had well over 10 million views online.
The issue of force-feeding has resurfaced in the days leading up to Ramadan, when the inmates will continue to be fed during the hours of darkness, in-keeping with the rules of the month-long religious fast. According to official documents, there are currently 166 Guantanamo detainees. Some 106 are on hunger strike and, of those, 45 are being force-fed through tubes directly into the stomach. Four of the hunger-striking detainees, who are protesting against their ongoing detention without charge or trial, are legally challenging the continuation of force-feeding during Ramadan.
Lawyers for the four inmates have warned the prison may become “a veritable force-feeding factory” during the religious fast, explaining there will only be 10 hours and 44 minutes of darkness for 45 people to be force fed. Each painful procedure takes around an hour, and following that, the prisoner must be observed for around four hours to ensure he does not induce vomiting.