What is it like to be force-fed by a tube jammed up your nose while shackled to a restraint chair? Mos Def demonstrates the procedure in a stomach-churning new video on the Guardian's website meant to shed light on what the Guantanamo Bay detainees on hunger strike are suffering.
In the video, which was made by Reprieve, an organization fighting to protect human rights of prisoners, the actor and rapper also known as Yasiin Bey is seen in an orange jumpsuit, shackled to a chair. He is writhing in pain, gagging, screaming, crying and begging for the procedure to end.
It is impossible to watch it without feeling absolutely gutted. And worse, this is what our country is doing in Guantanamo.
In a Sunday Op-Ed about force-feeding detainees at Gitmo, Alka Pradhan, Kent Eiler and Katherine Hawkins, who worked for the Constitution Project's Task Force on Detainee Treatment, warned:
"Putting detainees in lockdown and force-feeding them in restraints can postpone deaths, but it cannot prevent them indefinitely. Prolonged force-feeding carries its own medical risks, and Guantanamo detainees have killed themselves even in the highest security sections of the prison. There have been seven suicides."
They called on President Obama to put an end to force-feeding detainees by taking the appropriate steps to end the hunger strike.
"As the president said in a speech on May 23, force-feeding detainees who have been held without charge for more than a decade is unacceptable: 'Is that who we are? Is that something our founders foresaw? Is that the America we want to leave our children?' "
"Unfortunately, the detainees at Guantanamo no longer place much hope in Obama's promise to close the prison. Since the president's speech, the number of detainees being force-fed has increased by at least 13. The administration must move as swiftly as possible to exercise its authority to restart transfers out of Guantanamo, beginning with those detainees previously cleared for transfer. Exercising that authority is the best chance to end the hunger strike."