Le Lézard
Subjects: LAW, LGB, NTA, DEI

Experts to testify about solitary confinement and gender diversity in human rights case of formerly incarcerated Two-Spirit person

BURNABY, BC, June 10, 2024 /CNW/ - (Unceded Coast  Salish territories) ? From June 10-14, 2024, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal will hear expert testimony in the case of Nick Dinardo (they/them). Mx. Dinardo is a formerly incarcerated Two-Spirit and transfeminine member of the Piapot First Nation challenging the violence and abuse they experienced in federal prisons. In their human rights case, they argue that Correctional Service Canada (CSC) discriminated against them on the basis of Indigenous identity, gender identity, religion and disability.

While Mx. Dinardo was in prison, they spent extended periods in extreme isolation and correctional officers used violent force against them over 45 times. Officers broke their arm, pepper sprayed them when they self-harmed, and shot them with a rubber bullet in the face. Further, Mx. Dinardo faced significant harassment and abuse as a transfeminine person incarcerated in prisons designated for men. CSC repeatedly refused Mx. Dinardo's requests to transfer to prisons designated for women.

From June 10-14, the Tribunal will hear from Mx. Dinardo's experts. Dr. Kai Pyle will provide evidence about Two-Spirit identity and the oppression faced by Two-Spirit people. Dr. William Hébert will provide evidence about the implementation of policy impacting gender diverse people in prison. Dr. Terry Kupers is a psychiatrist who will provide evidence about the impacts of use of force, self-harm, and isolation in prison. 

Jennifer Metcalfe, Executive Director of Prisoners' Legal Services (PLS), says: "We hope this case will draw attention to the systemic discrimination gender diverse people and people with disabilities experience in prison and will result in remedies that prevent the kind of abuses Mx. Dinardo has suffered." 

For details on how to observe the virtual hearing, please contact the Tribunal:

Mx. Dinardo is represented by David Taylor, Christopher Trivisonno, and Maritza Woel of Conway Baxter Wilson LLP and Jessica Magonet of PLS.

You can read Mx. Dinardo's human rights complaints here and here.

SOURCE Prisoners' Legal Services

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