Wednesday July 10, 2013 08:24
Rapper Mos Def undergoes force feeding to protest Guantanamo
US rapper Mos Def gags, chokes and finally gives up his attempt to undergo force feeding in a protest video posted on the internet by the human rignts organization Reprieve.
The video was made in in London as a protest against the force feeding of several dozen prisoners at the US military detention center at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay.
In the video, Mos Def puts on an orange jump suit like the ones worn by Guantanamo prisoners, sits in a chair and allows his head to be strapped to a backboard, his wrists to the chair arms and his bare feet shackled.
The force feeders dip the end of a long tube into a lubricant and try to force it down his right nostril as he twists his head, coughs, groans in pain and pushes it out. His eyes tear up. After the second attempt, he cries: ”Stop, stop I can’t do it.”
Freed from the straps, he drops his head into his hands and cries.
”The first part is not that bad,” he says afterwards. ”But there is this burning. It feels like something going into my brain.”
Reprieve estimated that 120 prisoners have joined the hunger strike since it started in March, well more than half of the 166 prisoners who remain. Forty-four are being force fed, the activist group said.
The Miami Herald reported that 106 are on hunger strike, and that 45 are being force fed. Reprieve said the force feedings take place twice a day, and take about two hours for each session. The military in May had to send an additional 40 medical personnel to keep prisoners alive.
Many of the prisoners, who are considered terrorist suspects by the US government, have been held without charges or trial since 2002. The top commander over the prison has conceded that the strike is an act of deep frustration over the government’s silence about their fate and US President Barack Obama’s inability to act on his promise to close the prison.
Last month, the US State Department appointed a special envoy for Guantanamo closure while the Defence Department said it was seeking a location in the territorial United States to hold military commissions for trials of detainees. (dpa)