Genocide survivors invite Golly G to Rwanda

PHOTO: Golriz was part of the team that defended singer and songwriter Bikindi who was accused and later convicted of inciting genocide.

The pressure mounts on Golriz Ghahraman to explain herself over her fanciful claims on her CV and public statements since:

A New Zealand lawmaker Golriz Ghahraman who worked on the defence team of notorious Genocide convicts has been invited to visit Rwanda for a “constructive dialogue”.

In November last year, it emerged that Ghahraman who had recently joined parliament had not indicated clearly in her public records that she worked with the defence at the now closed International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

The court, based in Tanzania, tried the planners and lead executioners of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis.

A previously unseen photo surfaced in which Ghahraman smiles alongside Simon Bikindi, who was convicted by ICTR. As a singer, his music mobilised the Genocide militia to hunt Tutsis across Rwanda’s hills.

There was a shock in New Zealand, and Rwanda alike when the latest details emerged. She was accused of falsely painting herself as an “angel” when she had actually been “defending evil”.

Now, GAERG – an organization founded by former student Genocide survivors has sent a letter inviting her to Rwanda. The group says it will be an opportunity for her to visit the numerous memorial sites where hundreds of thousands of victims are laid to rest.

“We do not intend to engage in political tit-for-tat, but because our organisation is sincere in our desire to help inform and educate world leaders such as yourself about the reality of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, as well as vital post-conflict efforts at reconciliation and rebuilding,” reads in part the letter sent January 1.

The letter also invites the Greens lawmaker for the 24th commemoration of the Genocide in April. It says Bikindi couldn’t have been a person she associated herself with.

The singer “deeply invested his talent to propagate the hatred” that left nearly an entire people decimated, and a country destroyed, says GAERG.

Despite the scandal, Ghahraman has not come out to make a clear statement about her past and its relationship to her today. Instead, she has left it to her supporters to speak for her.

“Survivors…are troubled that you have failed to adequately clarify your position on the events of 1994,” says GAERG.

“As a current and future leader of New Zealand, we are eager that you gain first-hand understanding of the Genocide, and the role of survivors in rebuilding our nation in its aftermath.”

New Zealand was on the UN Security Council during the genocide, and it’s diplomat stood out as one of few determine voices that spoke out against the inaction to stop the massacres. Ambassador Colin Keating has also been awarded in Rwanda for his efforts.

Questions remain as the Greens and Ghahraman sought to minimise her false CV claims by claiming that even genocidaires deserve a defence. That was never the issue. The issue was she has claimed and continues to claim that she was a crusading and prosecuting human rights lawyer. The facts are not as she has portrayed them.

This letter shows just how deeply upset Rwandans are at her falsehoods. They want an explanation, and so do we.

The letter in full is below:

Gaerg Letter to Golriz Ghahraman by Cam Slater on Scribd

 

-KT Express


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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