CAT/C/21/D/67/1997
page 3

blurred vision and headaches. The following day, on 7 December 1995,
Mr. Akhimien consulted with the medical doctor who specifically ruled out
diabetes as the cause of his failing health. No laboratory tests were
performed.
2.3
On 13 December 1995 he made a new request to see the doctor and asked
for a blood test. He added to his previously mentioned symptoms that he was
experiencing dizziness, loss of appetite, lack of strength, a bitter taste in
his mouth, lack of saliva and nausea.
2.4
On 13 December 1995, subsequent to his new request to see the medical
doctor, Mr. Akhimien was put in solitary confinement. Counsel states that he
was put in solitary confinement because he was perceived to be a troublemaker,
constantly complaining about living conditions in the Celebrity Inn. He also
states that Mr. Akhimien had argued with a guard who had refused him water
from the kitchen and that his thirst was a symptom of diabetes. Counsel
further states that the room where Mr. Akhimien was held in confinement was
located only two doors away from the doctor's office and that the room was
known to be very cold in wintertime. Mr. Akhimien remained in solitary
confinement until his death.
2.5
On 14 December 1995, the doctor was at the Celebrity Inn, but did not
examine Mr. Akhimien. On 15 December 1995, Mr. Akhimien consulted with a
nurse who noted his complaints and advised him to consult with the doctor on
18 December 1995. According to counsel, the following day Mr. Akhimien
requested medical assistance from the guards who ignored him, assuming that he
was faking his condition. On 17 December 1995, the guards called the security
supervisor of the Celebrity Inn as well as a nurse to the room in which
Mr. Akhimien was held. Counsel states that he showed signs and symptoms
associated with untreated diabetes. Mr. Akhimien's health condition was
thereafter monitored every 30 minutes for several hours before an ambulance
was eventually called. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
The autopsy identified the cause as either pneumonia or diabetic ketoacidosis
arising from untreated diabetes.
2.6
Pursuant to the Coroners Act of Ontario, a coroner's inquest was held
between 7 May and 6 June 1996. The jury concluded that Mr. Akhimien's death
was caused by diabetic ketoacidosis and that he had died from natural causes.
On 5 June 1996 an application was filed by the Nigerian Canadian Association
for judicial review of the coroner's inquest, on the grounds that the inquest
had been conducted in a biased and discriminatory manner. Counsel further
submits that the family made attempts to file a complaint before the Canadian
Human Rights Commission, but that the complaint could not be examined since
the deceased had not been lawfully residing in Canada. Counsel also submits
that the available domestic remedies do not comply with the requirement of the
Convention that a prompt and impartial investigation of any occurrence of
torture must be undertaken. The delays inherent in a normal Canadian
litigation process are not compatible with the State party's obligations under
the Convention.

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