Since 2005, prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have been engaging in hunger strikes in order to protest the conditions of the United States military prison which, according to a lawsuit filed by the prisoners in 2013, were not up to the standards of the Geneva Conventions.
Due to the prisoners' protests, officials in charge at the prison began force-feeding the detainees, engaging in brutal and often degrading practices that have became highly controversial in recent years. If you'll recall, Yasiin Bey released a graphic video last year in which he was subjected to the same force-feeding practices that Guantanamo Bay prisoners regularly experience. It was a highly visceral and disturbing, but necessary, video to watch.
In the wake of last year's lawsuit, some of the methods used at Guantanamo Bay were changed in order to soften the impact of the highly controversial practices. And now, documents from the lawsuit have been recently unsealed, allowing for greater insight into the proceedings of the case, and the inner-workings of Guantanamo. According to Vice News, a statement from Colonel John V. Bogdan, the joint detention group commander at the military prison, explains more. Said Bogdan:
There is a small group of detainees who have been enterally fed for a significant period of time and who are routinely compliant with enteral feeding. The Senior Medical Officer and I conferred and agreed that for those detainees, we would allow the use of a soft chair [redacted]. The chair reclines and the detainees may watch television or play video games while being enterally fed. This chair [redacted] is used as part of an effort to help detainees improve their eating habits and thus their overall health.
The lawyer representing the prisoners was not so convinced by Bogdan's words. Speaking with Polygon, attorney Jon Eisenberg said, "I suppose they thought the idea of putting it out there might give people the impression that force-feeding is an happy experience. I doubt any of them are playing video games, they're all pretty sick."
Truly, it's sickening news for everyone. Video games have helped many gamers heal emotional wounds over the years, but attempting to use them as a comforting prize for prisoners who are being mistreated and abused is a gross misapplication of their powers.
For more information, you can read the lawsuit's unsealed documents below.