Yasiin Bey, the rapper formerly known as Mos Def, is known for being one of the more gifted rap lyricists to ever pick up a microphone. Beyond his performing excellence, Bey is also an outspoken Muslim, and has openly disagreed with the United States government’s actions involving the Middle East. Now, the talented artist is using his position to perhaps shock people into speaking out, thanks to a eye-opening video that shows Bey being force-fed in the same manner prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are.
The video is a four-minute demonstration, and it is the brainchild of the human right organization, Reprieve. The group partnered with award-winning director Asif Kapadia and Bey, and Reprieve’s goal with the video is clear:
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 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).
The video itself may be disturbing to some viewers:
As for your reaction to the piece, well, that all depends on your disposition towards the entire quagmire. If you’re one of the ones who view the prisoners at Guantanamo as a threat to national security, you probably don’t have a problem with what’s going on. If, however, you’re opposed to these kinds of actions, Reprieve’s video will only further stoke your fire. In fact, the following YouTube comments encapsulate both sides quite clearly:
That is just brutally disgusting but I wouldn’t mind if they did it several times a day to pieces of shit like Obomber, Cheney, Clinton (both), Bush (both), Rice, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and about a hundred others.
so wait a minute… Guantanamo….. Prison for terrorists/mass murderers. We aren’t talking Ghandi. This was so staged and fake it was ridiculous. Crying and screaming? Give me a break. Hollywood at it again.
So? Which side of the fence are you on?