Dr. Porter made an astonishing finding in her ruling that the videotapes showing Ashley Smith being forcibly injected with tranquilizers, taunted by professional staff, and strapped to a gurney without food or water cannot be considered essential evidence at the inquiry into the causes of her death. Ashley could still be alive if she had been treated in an appropriate manner. The tapes show that she was tortured. There was no attempt to treat her in a manner consistent with the promotion of her sense of dignity and worth or to take into account her age and the desirability of promoting her re-integration in society. The authorities grossly violated her rights.
The video which the coroner disallowed provides the most startling evidence that vulnerable young people are being treated in ways that violate their rights. There is no clearer evidence available of the lack of humanity and creative imagination in the prison service in Canada.
Defence for Children International – Canada
20 Spadina Rd. Toronto
(416-907-7432 [cell- 905-928-7792] )