Soper on Genocide denier Golriz Gharhaman

Barry Soper writes:

Politics is most certainly about perception and if you look at the publicity blurb surrounding the first refugee elected to our Parliament you would come away thinking Golriz Ghahraman who was born in Iran was a human rights battler, pure and simple.

In her maiden speech she talked about living in Africa, working on genocide trials and learning how prejudice turns into atrocity. She waxed about politicians scapegoating groups for any social ills, using dehumanising language in the media for their own gain.

Ghahraman went on to say she saw that at the Rwanda Tribunal, at The Hague and when she prosecuted the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

Now listening to that you’d think she was the battler she’s been painted as.

Except she never went to Rwanda, the trials were conducted in Tanzania, and she defended the main instigator of the atrocities and a singer who incited genocide by writing songs about Hutus killing Tutsi. The people she defended at The Hague were also scumbags. The two main trials being those of Ratko Mladic, known as the “Butcher of Bosnia”, who has finally been convicted to life in prison, and Radovan?Karad?i??who was found guilty of?genocide?in?Srebrenica,?war crimes?and?crimes against humanity, 10 of the 11 charges in total, and sentenced to 40 years’ imprisonment.

In their blurb about their new MP, The Greens said her work has focused on enforcing human rights and holding governments to account. Golriz, they tell us, has lived and worked in Africa, The Hague and Cambodia, putting on trial world leaders for abusing their power and restoring communities after war and human rights atrocities.

Now that leaves the clear impression she was the champion of bringing these people to justice.

But in fact at the Rwandan Tribunal she was representing the war criminals in the genocide of around eight hundred thousand Tutsis. She complained about how poorly resourced the defence was. It was as though the United Nations didn’t really believe in the process, she opined.

Except each defendant had around $32million spent on their defence. A total of over $2billion was spent on the process.

She’s now saying she wasn’t responsible for The Greens’ blurb which may be the case. But it seems she did little to correct it.

Few would argue that at any trial, regardless of how heinous the crime is, there’s prosecution and defence. Even the Nazis were defended at Nuremberg.

Yes, but the Nazi defence lawyers were all military counsel. On top of that none of them claimed the experience served them well in helping combat anti-Semitism.

You could argue though for Ghahraman to initially volunteer to work for the Rwandan defence and champion herself as a human rights lawyer leaves the wrong impression.

It does.

But in 36-year-old’s defence at least she fronted up to argue her case, insisting she’s never denied that she worked for the perpetrators of widespread abuse. That may be so, but others and she herself have conveniently overlooked it in presenting the positive.

Her Wikipedia page suggests otherwise.

She maintains she simply contributed to the accountability mechanism which is why she’s worked for both sides.

It’s just that one side has been consistently and conveniently highlighted over the other.

Imagine the outcry if it was Judith Collins who had defended mass-murderers? Yeah…so far only silence or vicious defence of Golriz Gharhaman has occurred.

She’s a Green so she does enjoy the dual protection of the Shield of Sanctimony and a Cloak of Hypocrisy.


-NZ Herald