Togo-Arrested and detained since 2018: Abdul Aziz Goma appeals to Irish government for help

Togo-Arrested and detained since 2018: Abdul Aziz Goma appeals to Irish government for help

The Irish media is increasingly interested in the situation of Abdul Aziz Goma, an Irishman of Togolese descent who has been arbitrarily arrested and detained in Togo since December 2018. Abdul Aziz Goma fell ill after being subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. According to the Irish newspaper www.leinsterleader.ie, Abdulaziz Goma has appealed to the Irish government for help so that he can regain his health and receive treatment..

A former Kildare resident is appealing for help to free him from prison in Africa

A former Kildare resident and Irish citizen imprisoned in Togo, West Africa, has appealed to the Irish government to help find his family.

Abdul Aziz Goma, 52, came to Ireland as a refugee in 1999 and later became an Irish citizen.

However, the Togo native was jailed in his home country in 2018 after authorities claimed he supported demonstrators protesting against the country’s authoritarian president. Goma claimed that he was tortured and subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

After arriving in Ireland in 1999, Mr Goma lived in Celbridge, then studied business at Whitehall College, Dublin and worked for a delivery company.

He said: “I was unjustly accused of bringing and hosting youths in Togo for political demonstrations against the regime and I was arrested on December 21, 2018 and subsequently detained in a civil prison in Lome-Togo. He added: “My health has deteriorated beyond a critical point and I need immediate and proper treatment.

“Ireland is known to have a proud reputation for human rights. I desperately request the intervention of the Irish government to release me and return me safely to my family. The Foreign Ministry said diplomats were providing consular assistance in Goma, but declined to comment further.

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Consular assistance

A spokesman told the Chief: “The Foreign Office is aware of the matter and is providing consular assistance.

“As in all consular cases, it is not appropriate to comment on the specific details of the case. »

The case was also highlighted by the UN Special Rapporteur from Ireland, Mary Lawlor, who is a human rights defender.

She said: “Abdul Aziz Goma was imprisoned and tortured for providing support and shelter to young people exercising their right to peaceful protest. “Although this was done to him by the Togolese authorities, he is Irish and the Irish government must take responsibility for publicly calling for his release. »

Togo, which occupies a narrow strip of land on Africa’s west coast, has been criticized in the past for its human rights record and political governance. The head of state is Faure Gnassingbe Iadema, who succeeded his father who died in 2005 after ruling the country with an iron fist for 38 years. Constitutional changes in 2019 allowed the president to be re-elected and remain in office until 2030.

Source: www.leinsterleader.ie

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