In collaboration with Freedom Now, McKool Smith Principal Joshua J. Newcomer and Associate Saif Askar successfully led a legal petition that resulted in the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declaring the Government of Togo violated international human rights law for its unlawful detention of Irish businessman Abdoul Aziz Goma. Mr. Goma has been imprisoned without trial for nearly five years.
Abdoul Aziz Goma was arrested in December 2018 in Lomé, Togo, under pretextual circumstances. Despite the lack of a legal basis for his arrest, the government has subjected Mr. Goma to severe mistreatment, including torture; denied him legal representation; and detained him without trial.
McKool Smith, working closely with Freedom Now, filed a petition that led the UN Working Group to conclude that Mr. Goma's rights to assembly, association, and a fair trial were infringed. The charges against him were found to be baseless, and his continued detention was declared a violation of international law.
We commend the UN Working Group's decision and call upon the Government of Togo to immediately release Abdoul Aziz Goma. This decision sets a precedent for upholding human rights and international law, demonstrating the effectiveness of strategic legal action against human rights abuses.