On June 11, 2015, Abdurahman Hassan, a 39-year-old Somali man living with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, died after police officers restrained him. Mr. Hassan had been in custody at the Central East Correctional Centre for three years awaiting deportation. After suffering a seizure while in segregation, he was transferred to Peterborough Regional Health Centre. In the early morning hours of June 11, 2015, while in the hospital, two police officers (one OPP, one Peterborough Police Service) and nurses entered Mr. Hassan’s room. He was in crisis, ingesting his own hair and feces. Mr. Hassan was held down, his mouth covered with a towel and his head was held against the bed. He died.
The province announced that it was ordering a Coroner’s Inquest into Mr. Hassan’s death. In July 2022, BLAC was granted standing to participate in the Inquest. BLAC is being assisted by counsel from Cooper, Sandler, Shime & Schwartzentruber LLP. The four-week inquest began on January 16, 2023.
- Press Release: Black Legal Action Centre, Refugee Law Office, and the Canadian Council for Refugees Pleased with the Jury Recommendations from the Abdurahman Hassan Inquest, February 10, 2023
- Toronto Star, “Inquest jury into refugee’s death calls for end to holding immigration detainees in jails,” February 10, 2023
- Toronto Star, “Mindset of those present when immigration detainee died is key, inquest hears,” February 8, 2023
- Solicitor’s General News Release, December 23, 2022