The CCLA is greatly troubled by findings of the Coroner’s report concerning the death of Soleiman Faqiri, who died while in custody in an Ontario jail last December.
Mr. Faqiri, who had a schizophrenia diagnosis, was reportedly being held in segregation due to “behavioural issues”. During an incident in which Mr. Faqiri resisted being taken from a shower back to his cell, guards reportedly proceeded to pepper spray him, hold down his limbs, put a spit hood over his head, put his legs in irons, and handcuff him. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Faqiri stopped moving or breathing.
While the coroner’s report is inconclusive with respect to the cause of death, the CCLA is deeply concerned by the report’s finding that Mr. Faqiri suffered more than fifty injuries caused by “blunt impact trauma”. The CCLA recommends, in the strongest possible terms, that a coroner’s inquest be called to further investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr. Faqiri’s death.
The coroner’s report also serves as a tragic reminder of the harms associated with administrative segregation – and the need for a prohibition against the use of segregation for individuals with mental health issues. The CCLA is currently in court challenging provisions of the administrative segregation regime in Canada. CCLA’s challenge calls for a prohibition against the use of segregation for individuals with mental health issues, for independent oversight of segregation decisions, and more.