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Toronto man who had schizophrenia died after being beaten by six correctional officers at Lindsay prison in 2016.

Death of Soleiman Faqiri in prison: homicide is suggested.

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Soleiman Faqiri, 30, was beaten and forcibly held face down and on his stomach by six guards in 2016 and his death has been the subject of a coroner's inquest for three weeks.

  • Jean-Philippe Nadeau (View profile)Jean-Philippe Nadeau

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Surprising suggestion Coroner's inquest into the death of Soleiman Faqiri: The public prosecutor is proposing that the jury reach a verdict of homicide and not an accident when it submits its recommendations to the province next week. However, the prison guards union strongly opposes such a conclusion.

The 30-year-old man, who was schizophrenic, was beaten in his cell by six guards at Lindsay Prison in 2016.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">In his final arguments, the public prosecutor's lawyer, Prabhu Rajan, said on Friday that the witnesses we heard over three weeks and Evidence in this case indicates that Soleiman Faqiri's death was a homicide.

It's a verdict that we don't take lightly, he said (a verdict of homicide is not legally binding). criminal or civil point of view, Editor's note).

Such a verdict means that Soleiman Faqiri died from his injuries inflicted on him by agents at the result of deliberate actions. His death was not an accident, explains Me Rajan.

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It sends an unequivocal message to the Ministry of the Solicitor General that systemic problems in Ontario's prison system caused the Toronto man's death on December 15, 2016.

The Crown, with the collaboration of the Faqiri family, the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Empowerment Council, offers the jury 55 recommendations, while reminding them that He is also entitled to propose others. The jury entered into deliberations on Friday.

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Soleiman Faqiri was placed in solitary confinement upon his arrival in Lindsay Prison on December 5, 2016, due to his mental health.

Soleiman Faqiri was arrested on December 4, 2016 for an alleged stabbing attack on a neighbor.

He had been kept in detention for 11 days without seeing a psychiatrist and the prison doctor had refused to have him hospitalized.

His condition quickly deteriorated: he screamed, he was delirious, he hit himself against the walls of his cell which he had soiled with his excrement.

Me Rajan adds that all parties in this investigation agree to say without hesitation that Soleiman Faqiri should have been hospitalized because of the seriousness of his condition.

We will never understand the exact reason why he was not transferred to the hospital shortly after his admission to prison, he said, adding that the province nevertheless now has plenty of information to unravel the mystery.

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Surveillance video shows a group of Lindsay prison guards moving Soleiman Faqiri in a wheelchair from his cell to a segregation unit on the day he died.

Me Rajan states that Soleiman Faqiri lived in prolonged agony and that his detention conditions were inhumane. Things must now change to avoid such a tragedy, he continues.

In her arguments, Empowerment Council lawyer Anita Szigeti adds that Soleiman's death was unnecessary and could have been avoided.

Not only is his death a tragedy, but it is also a tragedy for all inmates in solitary confinement and, general, for everyone who suffers from a mental health problem.

A quote from Anita Szigeti, lawyer for Empowerment Council

Me Szigeti specifies that people struggling with mental health problems have the right to wondering if they will be the next victims in the event that they are stopped on public roads.

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Soleiman Faqiri's cell was in one of the wings of Lindsay prison reserved for the confinement of prisoners.

His colleague from the Canadian Mental Health Association, Mercedes Perez, affirms that Soleiman was not an offender, but a citizen accused of a crime who should have enjoyed the presumption of justice. innocence and whose health should have raised immediate concerns.

The Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General and the prison guards' union of Lindsay did not oppose the 55 suggestions, but they offered others.

The OPSEU union, however, strongly opposed a verdict of homicide and instead suggests a verdict of accidental death, because nothing could be done. indicates according to him that the action of its members directly caused the death of Soleiman.

OPSEU lawyer Charlie Sinclair points to the autopsy findings of Dr. Maggie Bellis, who suggested the cause of death remains undetermined at this time due to too many medical and circumstantial factors.

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This is not the first time that the Central East Correctional Center has been the subject of a coroner's inquest in Ontario. (File photo)

Ministry of the Solicitor General lawyer Court Peterson has taken no position on the verdict, but he reminds that a coroner's inquest never serves to blame anyone for what happened.

The recommendations that the parties propose to the jury before its deliberations touch on several aspects and they have been divided into different categories to help the jurors in their work:

The Recommendations are directed to the Ontario Ministries of the Solicitor General, Health and Attorney General.

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The Faqiri family continues for $14.3 million from the Solicitor General of Ontario, the former superintendent of the Lindsay prison and seven correctional officers.

The most important suggestion is to recognize that prisons are not appropriate places for individuals who struggle with mental health issues.

Failing to find them a place in a community or psychiatric hospital, the public prosecutor suggests that mentally ill prisoners should have access to the same quality care as citizens in society.

Part of the recommendations also concerns mandatory mental health training for prison staff and more extensive training for guards on use of force techniques.

The five jurors – three women and two men – are expected to deliver their verdict and recommendations no earlier than Tuesday.

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