This is as difficult to watch as you think it is. The footage is intense and potentially disturbing to some of our readers so viewer discretion is advised.
The human rights organization Reprieve released this absolutely horrific video this morning of socially-conscious hip-hop artist Yasiin Bey (popularly known as Mos Def) submitting himself to the procedure used to force-feed the hunger striking detainees of Guantanamo Bay. With over 120 prisoners currently engaging in hunger strikes, the government is forced to enforce this procedure twice a day to ensure these people are kept alive; our demonstrator couldn't even make it through one and with good reason.
The video launches a campaign to rally support for Guantanamo prisoners who are on hunger-strike in protest against their detention without charge or trial. The campaign asks members of the public to undertake their own short-term hunger-strikes in solidarity with the prisoners, and donate the time to support them, while also raising the issue with their political representatives. The website [http://www.standfastforjustice.org/] consolidates the total number of hours of hunger-striking undertaken in this way.
Prisoners in Guantanamo have been hunger-striking since February this year, with the total number involved now well over 100. The strike is in protest against their ongoing detention, despite the vast majority of prisoners never having been charged or tried, and over half the remaining population having even been cleared for release by the US Government. However, their peaceful protest has met with an increasingly aggressive response from camp authorities, including force-feeding and violent procedures known as 'forcible cell extractions’ (FCEs).