Watch: What It’s Like for Guantanamo Detainees to Undergo Forced Feedings
Posted on Jul 8, 2013
Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) is drawing attention to the plight of the dozens of hunger-striking Guantanamo Bay detainees by appearing in a newly released video in which the rapper and actor subjects himself to the invasive kind of forced feedings they receive on a daily basis.
The video, which was put together and released by the human rights group Reprieve, is meant to protest the Obama administration’s decision to continue force-feeding the hunger-striking detainees during the month-long fast of Ramadan.
The four-minute video, directed by Bafta award-winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia, seeks to reconstruct the specific force-feeding instructions set out in standard operating guidelines from Guantánamo leaked to al-Jazeera. It shows a plastic tube being inserted through Bey’s nostril into his stomach. The “Medical Management Standard Operating Procedure” document leaked from the detention camp defines a hunger striker as a detainee who has missed at least nine consecutive meals or whose weight has fallen to less than 85% of his ideal body weight.
If force feeding is deemed medically necessary, medical personnel shackle the detainee “and a mask is placed over the detainee’s mouth to prevent spitting and biting”. A feeding tube is then passed through the detainee’s nostril into the stomach.
The process takes about 20 to 30 minutes but they can be required to stay in the restraint chair for up to two hours until a chest x-ray confirms the nutrient has reached their stomach.
Demonstrating just how horrific the procedure is, Bey—who is clearly in distress—was unable to go through with the second insertion after the first tube was removed from his nostril.
Warning: Some may find the images to be disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.