On Sunday, December 15, hundreds of Canadians will attend vigils in seven cities across the country — including nearby Peterborough — to honour Soleiman Faqiri on the third anniversary of his death.
Faqiri, who had schizophrenia, died after guards at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay pepper-sprayed and beat him after he refused to get out of the shower, according to a 2017 internal report by the Kawartha Lakes Police Service. They, in turn, referred to surveillance video in their report.
The 2017 coroner’s report ruled his cause of death to be “unascertained.” He had more than 50 injuries.
This will be the first year that the community vigil has broadened into a national event.
People will gather in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Peterborough, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg to remember Soleiman and raise even greater awareness of Soleiman’s tragic case, according to a press release.
Each vigil will also highlight the critical need for reform in how Canada’s correctional and judicial systems care for people suffering from mental illness.
Each vigil community represents a location that the Justice for Soli Movement has visited over the past year.
Activists from national mental health and social justice communities will join families of fragile men and women who, like Soleiman, died while temporarily incarcerated in various provincial jails and federal correctional facilities.