A Durham, Ont. family continues to search for answers and accountability following a loved one’s death inside a Lindsay jail.
The family has formed a group called Justice for Soli, and is now calling upon the premier and the Ontario provincial government for action.
“We don’t have our closure, and what’s even more important is that Soleiman had a story to tell, he had hopes and dreams and all of that was merciless taken from him,” said Yusuf Faqiri, choking back tears.
It’s been over three years since his brother, Soleiman — or Soli — who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, died inside a Lindsay jail.
But despite the passing of time, he continues to fight for justice for Soli.
The Faqiri family says Soli died at the hands of corrections officers while awaiting transfer to a mental health hospital closer to home in Whitby, something the OPP says it’s still investigating.
In the meantime, the Justice for Soli movement crafted an open letter to Premier Doug Ford that will be going out later this week.
“We want accountability for my brother Soleiman Faqiri,” said Faqiri.
“The guards that killed him still have not been held accountable. These are public officials.”
The letter has about 130 signatories, from physicians who also want to see accountability and recognition into the death of Soleiman to politicians — including Senator Kim Pate.
“We should not be jailing people with mental health issues,” Pate said. “It should be very quick and thorough independent assessments and transfers of them immediately out of those systems and into appropriate mental health settings.”
Global News has contacted the office of Premier Doug Ford, but it says it’s unable to comment on a matter that’s still under investigation.
“It’s a powerful statement by Canadians, by Canadian leaders and that they’re saying to the Ford government, to Premier Ford, that something needs to be done,” said Faqiri.
While the Faqiri family knows they won’t be able to bring back Soleiman, they say they hope his story is a symbol for change so other families don’t have to go through what they’ve endured.