Toronto, August 14 — Over 60 civil society organizations and professional organizations have issued statements condemning a recent decision by the Ontario Provincial Police to not lay charges against any of the corrections officers involved in the death of Soleiman Faqiri.

Soleiman, who suffered from schizophrenia, was in custody at Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ontario, as he waited for a bed to open up at the Ontario Shores hospital.  But on December 15, 2016, while transporting Soleiman from one unit to another, guards pepper sprayed Soleiman, put a spit hood on his head, punched and kicked him, and left him face down and restrained with his hands tied behind his back in a cell.  Soleiman died during the attack.

The local police force, Kawartha Lakes Police Service, originally conducted the criminal investigation but declined to lay charges.  After the ensuing public outcry, and with the benefit of new eyewitness evidence, the OPP agreed to reinvestigate but recently announced that they will not proceed with charges.  They have told the family that they could not be assured of a successful prosecution against any of the individual guards

Prominent Canadians, including Canadian Senators Peter Boehm and Kim Pate have also expressed outrage at the decision.

Representatives from across civil society are calling on the provincial government to immediately reopen the case and ensure accountability.

“My Family is heartened that so many respectable organizations and people across Canada agree with us. We are incredibly grateful for this overwhelming support throughout the nation.” The Yusuf Faqiri, brother of Soleiman Faqiri

These include:

Mental Health Advocacy

  • Schizophrenia Society of Canada
  • Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC)
  • Naseeha Mental Health Services
  • Canadian Alliance on Race and Disability (CARD)
  • Disability Justice Network of Ontario
  • Across Boundaries: Ethnoracial Mental Health Centre
  • DEEN Support Services
  • Women’s Wellness Within
  • The Hamilton Social Medicine Response Team (HAMSMart)
  • Doctors for Defunding Police

National Advocacy Organizations

  • National Council of Canadian Muslims
  • The Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR)
  • Canadian Union of Postal Workers
  • Justice for Abdirahman Coalition
  • The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)
  • Canadian Voices Against Racism
  • The Colour of Poverty-Colour of Change (COP-COC)
  • Centre des travailleurs et travailleuses immigrants / Immigrant Workers Centre (CTI-IWC)
  • Canadian Council of Muslim Women
  • Muslim Advisory Council of Canada
  • Latin American Canadian Solidarity Association (LACASA)
  • Islamic Social Services Association
  • People for Peace
  • Afghan Women’s Organization Refugee and Immigrant Services (AWO)
  • Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)
  • Afghan Association of Ontario
  • Afghan Network for Social Services
  • Kingston New Democratic Riding Association
  • Coalition Against White Supremacy and Islamophobia (CAWSI)
  • Ecohesian Inc

Legal Advocacy Organizations

  • Canadian Civil Liberties Association
  • British Columbia Civil Liberties Association
  • Arch Disability Law Centre
  • The Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC)
  • The South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO)
  • The Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic (CSALC)
  • RadLaw
  • Canadian Association of Muslim Women in Law


Prisoner Advocacy Organizations

  • Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies
  • Elizabeth Fry (Nova Scotia)
  • East Coast Prison Justice Society
  • The Criminalization and Punishment Education Project (CPEP)
  • Kingston Peace Council
  • Justice Exchange
  • The Caring for Social Justice Collective (SJS)
  • Mothers Offering Mutual Support (MOMS)


Faith Based Organizations

  • Muslim Association of Canada (National)
  • World Sikh Organization
  • The Canadian Council of Imams
  • Samurai Buddhist Temple
  • Buddhist Chaplain, Vanier Center for Women
  • Noor Cultural Centre
  • Board of Directors, Canadian Multi-Faith Federation
  • Muslim Chaplaincy of Toronto
  • Samurai Center for Human Rights
  • Kannon Compassion Initiative
  • Islamic Centre of Kingston
  • Uma Nabawi Mosque
  • Muslim Chaplaincy of Toronto