Guantanamo Bay medics are angry at rapper Mos Def for his viral video showing what prisoners on hunger strike supposedly endure in forced feedings.
The video shows the rapper being strapped down for a painful procedure as a tube is inserted in his nose, causing him to gag and sob. He is in obvious pain as the procedure starts.
But some US Navy personnel at Guantanamo Bay said Mos Def’s force feeding experience isn’t anything like what prisoners actually go through. They say the procedure is quite safe and administered without pain.
“It’s ridiculous. It’s 100 percent false,” a Navy nurse known as “Ensign Lodowick” told Reuters about the video.
Other medics said the procedure is usually very simple with prisoners drinking a liquid meal or eating a small amount of food — enough to maintain their status as hunger strikers. Many prisoners have come accept the procedure as just part of their daily routine, they said.
“Most are asking us to hurry up, make it go faster,” said Lieutenant Junior Grade “Lucentio.”
It is difficult to know exactly what Guantanamo Bay detainees go through. Journalists are not allowed to witness the procedure or talk to prisoners, but prisoners who have spoken through lawyers describe a painful procedure similar to what Mos Def endured.
“The first part of it is not that bad, but then you get this burning,” said the rapper and actor, who now goes by his given name, Yasiin Bey. “When it just starts to be really unbearable. It feels like something is going in—like something is going into my brain.”
Army Sergeant 1st Class Vernon Branson, a watch commander at a prison, said he and fellow guards were put through the procedure to see what it was like, finding it wasn’t too harsh at all.
Branson said Mos Def’s Guantanamo Bay protest video left him more than a little upset. The Army sergeant said after watching it he deleted all of the rapper’s songs from his iPad.