In a video posted today by The Guardian, rapper Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, is filmed undergoing the standard operating procedure for force-feeding hunger striking prisoners at Guantánamo Bay. The video, made by the human rights organization Reprieve and director Asif Kapadia, demonstrates the excruciating process endured twice a day by at least 44 prisoners at the prison.

(Warning: the video is hard to watch and extremely upsetting.)

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At present, 106 prisoners at Guantánamo are on a hunger strike that started in February, largely motivated by their indefinite imprisonment without charge or trial. The procedures to force-feed hunger strikes were recently published by Jason Leopold in Al Jazeera, and have been described as unbearably painful by a number of prisoners. (See examples of such accounts here and here.) The ACLU has joined other rights organizations stating our opposition to the ongoing force-feeding, which constitutes cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. Last month, after visiting the detention center, Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, wrote an open letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, expressing her concerns over the procedure, which she said is "inconsistent with international norms."

The force-feeding procedures have come under additional scrutiny ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins this evening. The government has said it will try to only force-feed the prisoners at night, out of respect for the daytime fast. But this professed demonstration of religious accommodation doesn't address – and cannot in any way alleviate –the cruelty of the practice.

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Barbaric. Why don't we try these people and convict them or free them. We are doing ourselves more harm than good by torturing people. Making enemies all over the world, and destroying any moral high ground we have ever had.


We, as a nation, have obviously completed disposed of the Geneva Convention!!! We are no longer a country that follows laws or reason. We are completely out of control and governed by the multi-national corporations, not we, the people. Woe are we!!!

Chris Helton

While I do not agree with people refusing to nutrient themselves because they would rather die, this is a disturbing and disgusting portrayal of the american mentality: Do what we tell you, or we will make you. And employees of this nation are operating this way with the direct approval of obama. The more the citizens allow the government to abuse authority, the more it will push the envelope until all that remains is authority. You are allowing the government to pervasively expand its abuse and soon everyone will be subject to it. Thank you, Yasiin, for your compassion and willingness to be an example of a humanitarian. If I could, I would live elsewhere, but I am trapped by the same government which imposes its will all over the world. I wish america would take care of its own instead of forcing itself on everyone else, everywhere else...


Guantanamo should have been closed down a long
time ago. Instead it's a place for the U.S. to conduct hidden human experiments.


Mos Def - idiot ...... nothing here to see .... next


Seriously?? We are sticking up for terrorists?? I had a camera stuck down my nose for an ultrasound and I did not! If they don't want to be force fed, maybe they should eat. I'm sure our government gives them halal meals.

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