The Toronto Star’s Tuesday, May 15 front page featured staff reporter Fatima Syed’s “Correctional ministry won’t release video of inmate’s last hours.” Ms Syed has been following the Faqari family’s patience and forbearance as it struggles for answers, for accountability, and for transparency. So far, it has nothing……only a grave to visit.
Soleiman Faqiri died at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay in December of 2016 after a three-hour confrontation with guards. The Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services is keeping video of his last hours secret from the public and the man’s family.
We’ve previously published a few postings on this man’s death at the hands of provincial jail guards, the last on February 18, “Soleiman Faqiri-another comeback.”
MCCS cites section 65(6) of Ontario’s privacy law, which refers to labour relations. Experts in the field suggest the application of that section is ‘hokum’, in so many words, and is really a ploy to protect the identities of correctional officers who appear in the video.
Lawyers with a history of attempts to shake information out of MCCS claim secrecy is “part of the ministry’s MO”, as one put it. Another, familiar with privacy law, agrees the secrecy “is concerning because of vast potential to cover up serious misconduct in Ontario jails.”
May 24, 2018
Sam Erry, Deputy Minister of Correctional Services,
Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services,
18th Floor, 25 Grosvenor Street,
Toronto, ON M7A 1Y6
Re: Soleiman Faqiri
Dear Deputy Minister Erry:
We know that Soleiman Faqiri was alive on the afternoon of December 15, 2016, at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay.
We know that he was dead by the end of the day.
We know his only contact in his final hours was with an army of correctional officers.
We know he had 50 injuries to his body and asphyxia was the cause of death.
We know your ministry says it hasn’t any idea how all that happened.
We know Faqiri didn’t commit suicide.
We now know you’re hiding the video of his last hours from his family and the public.
We know your ministry’s refusal to ‘come clean’ stinks of obstruction.
We hope the settlement is painful.
Charles H. Klassen
Remember, these are our civil servants. Does your behind ache?