The Justice for Abdirahman Coalition expresses its deep outrage at a recent decision by the Ontario Provincial Police to not press charges against the alleged killers of our brother Soleiman Faqiri. Soleiman was an imprisoned racialized man struggling with mental health issues who was allegedly beaten to death in his cell by a group of correctional officers in 2016. After his death, Soleiman had over 50 bruises and signs of blunt force trauma on his body.
The OPP claims that there are no charges that could stick in Soleiman’s death. According to Soleiman’s family, this is because the OPP claims that they could not identify who was responsible for his death, given the large group of alleged assailants. As Yusuf Faqiri has painfully stated: “The message that they are sending is that if you want to murder someone, do it in a group”.
We are horrified by the lack of accountability and justice in this case. We have deep-seated doubts about the ability of a force like the OPP to properly investigate a case like this one, given their own history of violence and brutality against Indigenous, Black, and other racialized people.
There are no words strong enough to express our utter disappointment and disgust at the OPP’s conclusion. The OPP has made a bitter mockery of the concept of justice by reaching this decision, a decision completely in line, however, with the force’s history of cowardice, deep-seated racism, and brutality. It is high time one arm of government-funded violence no longer be responsible for investigating another.
Our deepest solidarity, love, and sympathy is with the Faqiri family who are devastated by this inexplicable and baffling refusal of justice in the death of their beloved brother and son. We are with you and will keep fighting at your side.
Soleiman – we will not forget you. Like Abdirahman, like Greg, D’Andre, Regis, Chantel, Ejaz, and so many others – you were a racialized person struggling with mental health issues, a category of person our province and our country routinely treats with brutality and callousness. You may have died in a dark and horrible place in which no human should be – but we will keep shining a light on your case and your memory. We will not rest until your family sees justice, and your precious life is valued.