The Canadian government hasn’t taken any action on compensating a Quebec man who was tortured in a Mexican prison, and the United Nations Committee Against Torture wants to know why.
Regent Boily was deported to Mexico, and in 2011, the United Nations Committee Against Torture determined that Canada had violated the UN Convention against Torture. Boily’s lawyers sent a letter on July 18, 2018, to the committee which stated this in part:
“The situation is very urgent: Mr. Boily is now 74, and everyday lives with the serious effects of the torture he suffered at the hands of the Mexican authorities after Canada irresponsibly sent him back there to face a serious risk of torture,”
In response to the complaint, Ibrahim Salma, Head of the committee’s human rights treaties section promised to forward the complaint to the Canadian government. The Canadian Department of Justice confirmed that the follow-up submission had duly been received and that they intended to respond to the Committee as soon as possible.
Boily, from Gatineau, currently lives in Montreal. He was freed in December 2017 after a period of over ten years in Mexican prisons. When Boily was extradited, Mexico pledged to protect his rights. Upon the United Nations Committee Against Torture’s conclusion in 2011, Harper’s government failed to take action, and now, Trudeau’s government will have to clean up the mess. Boily is suing for $6 million in damages, but he is prepared to settle out of court.
In March 2018, Boily exclusively revealed to Radio Canada what he went through in Mexico when correctional officers would repeatedly hold his head in a barrel of water. “I saw little swimming creatures,” Boily said in French. “I felt things go into my mouth. It’s the worst kind of agony a human being can endure. Every time I went under I thought I would die.”