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Indigenous Bar Association Calls on The Ontario And Federal Government To Take Immediate Action to Address The Deplorable Conditions of Adam Capay and Other Indigenous Inmates

by ahnationtalk on October 27, 2016906 Views

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INDIGENOUS BAR ASSOCIATION CALLS ON THE ONTARIO AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION TO ADDRESS THE DEPLORABLE CONDITIONS OF ADAM CAPAY AND OTHER INDIGENOUS INMATES

Ottawa, Ontario –

For the past four years, Adam Capay has been held, in solitary confinement in the basement of a Thunder Bay jail with the lights on 24 hours a day.  The sensory deprivation caused by constant light is an acknowledged torture technique.  The United Nations says that holding a person for more than 15 days in solitary is in itself a form of torture.

Mr. Capay, who was charged in 2012 has been held without trial for 52 months. And he has been in solitary confinement 100 times longer than the 15-day maximum the United Nations considers to be the threshold for torture.

Despite a Supreme Court of Canada ruling that any delay between the laying of charges and the completion of trial longer than 30 months is a violation of an accused person’s Charter right to be tried within a reasonable time and Ontario’s ombudsman, Paul Dube calling on the provincial government to abolish the practice of putting inmates in indefinite segregation, Adam Capay remains in isolation.

“Mr. Capay’s treatment is deplorable and completely unacceptable in a free and democratic society”, stated Koren Lightening-Earle, President of the Indigenous Bar Association.  Lightening-Earle indicated, “this horrible incident requires the immediate attention of both levels of government to ensure that Mr. Capay and other Indigenous Peoples are not further harmed at the hands of the state.”

Paul Dube in his report, published in May of this year, stated “it is difficult to understand the ministry’s policy position that segregation is a last resort, carefully controlled and monitored,” and instead seems to be a tool used to “effectively punish the most difficult and vulnerable inmates.”

The Truth & Reconciliation Commission called upon federal, provincial, and territorial governments to commit to eliminating the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in custody over the next decade, and to issue detailed annual reports that monitor and evaluate progress in doing so.  In addition, the TRC called upon the governments to provide sufficient and stable funding to implement and evaluate community sanctions that will provide realistic alternatives to imprisonment for Aboriginal offenders and respond to the underlying causes of offending.

The Indigenous Bar Association, the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario have publicly endorsed the findings of the TRC and committed to the implementation of all “calls to action”. While the IBA continues to seek implementation of the TRC’s work, Canada and Ontario continue to stall and maintain the status quo.  Unfortunately, the status quo is robbing Mr. Capay of his basic human rights of which there is no greater crime.

The IBA encourages everyone to sign the Petition to End Adam Capay’s 1500+ day Solitary Confinement at: https://www.change.org/p/end-inmate-adam-capay-s-1500-day-solitary-confinement-humane-treatment-for-all-canadians

For further information please contact: Koren Lightning-Earle, President at (780) 721-2345 or via email klightning-earle@indigenousbar.ca.

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