'Justice for Soli' rally comes to London
LONDON, ONT. -- A rally calling for mental health rights within the justice system was held outside the London courthouse Saturday.
A family is also asking for justice for a loved one.
On Dec. 4, 2016, Soleiman Faqiri was temporarily housed at the Central East Correctional Centre (CECC) in Lindsay, Ont. while awaiting a bed at the Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.
The Faqiri family says that Soleiman had been previously diagnosed with schizophrenia.
On Dec. 15 2016, Soli died at the CECC. The family alleges that Soli’s death was caused by correctional staff.
Organizers of the rally say that the current justice system does not ensure protections for those who are suffering from mental health and that it marginalizes and inflicts harm on those who suffer from mental health.
Soli’s brother Yusuf Faqiri and family were outside the courthouse wearing T-shirts that read “Justice for Soli.”
My brother, with a story to tell, was given to his mom in a body bag,” says Yusuf Faqiri.
Yusuf says the current justice system does not ensure protections for those who are suffering from mental health and that it marginalizes and inflicts harm on those who suffer from mental health.
“It effectively says that people with mental illness - their lives are cheap. It says that law enforcement has a different standard for themselves versus the rest of us as Canadians,” says Yusuf.
The Faqiri family says they will “continue to seek accountability for the acts of violence against their son and brother while under government care.”
The family has also called on the Government of Ontario to reform the province’s correctional system to ensure greater transparency of information and to improve training for dealing with mentally ill inmates.
There will be a follow up event outside of EMDC at 711 Exeter Road in their weekly vigil in honour of those who have died while incarcerated there.