TORONTO, Jan. 30, 2019 /CNW/ -Today, Yusuf Faqiri and lawyers for the Faqiri family announced a lawsuit against the Ontario Government and the correctional officers responsible for the mistreatment and killing of Soleiman Faqiri. The lawsuit claims damages for the harm that Soleiman endured while in the care of staff at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ontario.
Soleiman, who suffered from Schizophrenia, was beaten to death by a group of correctional officers on December 15, 2016. He was being housed at the Central East despite an order from a Justice of the Peace to find him a hospital bed at Ontario Shores. Although the autopsy report revealed that Soleiman was covered with impact injuries, including lacerations and bruises, the Kawartha Lakes Police Service did not lay criminal charges against a single correctional officer.
An eyewitness who was housed in the cell immediately across from Soleiman, has now come forward and has spoken publicly about what he saw. He revealed that a group of guards repeatedly punched, kicked and stomped on Soleiman's head, neck and body while he lay shackled with a spit hood over his head on the ground. He also says he saw at least one guard kneel down on the back of Soleiman's neck while he was on the ground. The Ontario Provincial Police has reopened the criminal investigation.
The recently launched lawsuit seeks damages for cruel and unusual punishment, battery, negligence, and abuse of public office.
Yusuf Faqiri, the elder brother of Soleiman, made the following comments at today's press conference:
"Since my brother was killed, my family has been suffering. The Central East Correctional Centre should have protected Soleiman but they failed him and us. While in segregation, a place he never should have been, Soli's mental health deteriorated significantly. We are seeking accountability and justice for Soli."
Nader Hasan, one of the lawyers representing the Faqiri family, explained at today's press conference:
"The Faqiri family has been waiting for years for someone to explain how this could have happened. This legal action seeks to uncover the truth about what happened to Soleiman, why it happened, and to make sure it won't happen to anyone ever again. This is about truth and accountability."
Ted Marrocco, also representing the Faqiri family, explained how new information from the eyewitness may drastically alter the investigation into the medical cause of death:
"At first, no single injury stood out as being more likely than another to have caused Soleiman's death. But it now appears that the coroner wasn't given the whole story. Corrections staff told the coroner that Soleiman was only held down by his legs and arms. According to the eyewitness, this was not true. If a guard did in fact kneel down on Soleiman's neck, this would support that Soleiman was the victim of a restraint related death."
SOURCE Stockwoods LLP