A Vigil for Soli: Remembering Soleiman Faqiri A Victim of Ontario's Broken Criminal Justice SystemWritten by Justice for Soli
Soleiman Faqiri’s stay at the Central East Corrections Centre (CECC) was meant to be a temporary measure, yet it ended up being fatal.
On December 15, 2016, Soleiman Faqiri was killed during an altercation with prison guards at the Central East Correctional Centre (CECC) in Lindsay, Ontario. Soleiman was in complete isolation, cuffed at his hands and ankles, and entirely defenceless.
Prison guards took turns repeatedly beating Soleiman as he lay helplessly. Over 50 bruises were found on his body, including a huge gash on his forehead. Soleiman suffered from schizophrenia and the staff were aware of his condition. This blatant inhumane mistreatment is unacceptable to Canadians who believe in fair treatment of all.
Today, the Faqiri family is seeking justice for Soleiman and demanding answers from the Ontario government as to how Soleiman’s death could have occurred while he was in their care.
Soleiman needed a bed and a doctor, instead he was isolated, cuffed, and beaten to death. Soleiman was not the first or last individual with a mental illness to die in an Ontario prison.
We recognize the importance of advocating for those with mental illnesses and the need for accountability and transparency. We appreciate all those who stand in solidarity with us.
It has been two years now since Soleiman Faqiri’s soul was taken away from us. Instead of getting any answers, we only have more questions.
Still no accountability. Still no justice. Still, we will not rest.
Two years later, we are gathering to grieve once more. We will be holding a vigil at Dundas Square in Toronto on December 15th 2018 to mark the 2 year anniversary of Soleiman’s unjust killing. Please join us in remembering Soleiman, and every other individual that has been targeted, discriminated against, and killed by the state’s broken criminal justice system. We are calling upon everyone that has seen and experienced the injustices that the criminal system continually produces, especially against the most vulnerable.
Desmond Cole – Civil and Human Rights Activist, and Freelance Columnist
Imam Yasin Dwyer – Muslim Chaplain of Ryerson University
Dr. Fariha Khan – Member of Board of Directors of Naseeha Youth Helpline, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), and Islamic Relief Canada
Pelatin Faqiri – Soleiman's sister
Sameh Helmy – Community Activist and Spoken Word Artist
We will not rest until our demands are met. Join us!
If you cannot attend the vigil, here are other ways you can show your support:
Contribute to the crowdfunding campaign on LaunchGood.com to cover the legal costs for Soleiman Faqiri's family to seek justice
Sign the Petition on Change.org calling on the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, the Honourable Michael Tibollo, to open a new investigation by an external police force on the circumstances surrounding Soleiman’s untimely death.