Target: Artist Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def)
Goal: Thank Yasiin Bey for his efforts to end force feeding at Guantanamo Bay by enduring the procedure himself
The prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, the United States-run secret prison where prisoners are left in deplorable conditions without charges or due process of law and often tortured for information they may or may not have, have been dedicating themselves to a hunger strike for over 133 days now. 130 of the 166 prisoners have been starving themselves since February in protest of the violation of their human rights and liberties.
In response, medical staff at Guantanamo Bay has been force feeding 43 prisoners to keep them alive and to avoid a scandal. Force-feeding chairs, which are chairs with restraints that recall old electric chairs, are used to harness victims. Tubes are then shoved through their nostrils and down their throats. Nourishment is forced through these tubes for up to two hours. According to one former prisoner, the tubes were overly large and torn violently out of one prisoner, and then handed off to the next without cleaning, so that the blood and mucus was transferred from one victim to the next. Even if this particular abuse isn’t the case, force feeding competent persons is akin to torture and is vehemently opposed by the World Medical Association and the American Medical Association.
These prisoners are not committing suicide, and they are not deranged or incapable of rational thought. The decisions that they are making are calculated and reasonable. A hunger strike is the only power that they have to change the egregious conditions in which they find themselves. These American doctors, most of them young men right out of medical school and completely isolated from their colleagues on the continental United States, are degrading the dignity of these prisoners forcibly and violently.
This horrendous violence against competent persons who are making the conscious decision to risk their lives for their own human rights was made painfully visible in a brief video in which Yasiin Bey, or Mos Def, endures the force-feeding procedure. His physical pain combined with his emotional grief and anguish are made tangible to the average viewer through his efforts, and he brings light to the terrible atrocities being committed against these prisoners. The procedure is as un-American as it is inhuman.
Please sign this petition to thank Yasiin Bey for his efforts, and to stand with him in the effort to end the torture in Guantanamo Bay.
Dear Yasiin Bey,
Thank you for your sincere and outstanding efforts to end the torturous force feeding of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. You endured what amounts to aggravated assault in order to actualize the pain and suffering of these prisoners, and the result is a terrifying and urgent call to action.
You’ve made the horror and indignity of the procedure real and tangible for average citizens all across the United States. We have the power to pressure the government to close this horrible place for good, and you have made it that much clearer how immediately we need to finish this shameful chapter in our history.
Thank you for your monumental contribution to the cause. We must put all of our energy towards ensuring that your efforts are not in vain.
[Your Name Here]
Image: Screenshot of video via guardian.co.uk