The truth about Golriz Ghahraman

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

It has been a terrible week for the Green Party, although they probably don’t realise it. First, Marama Davidson decided, for reasons only she can fathom, to ‘reclaim’ the ‘C’ word. It is a word that many people find extremely offensive. It is a word that is meant to be extremely offensive. Then Eugenie Sage decided that Wellingtonians can no longer have pet cats. All very poor showing for a junior coalition partner in our current government.

But now the world has exploded spectacularly for Golriz Ghahraman.

She has already been exposed as defending perpetrators of genocide in Rwanda when she claimed she was a prosecutor. She has also been exposed as, at the very best, a poor ‘human rights’ lawyer, claiming, in the debate around free speech, that ‘no human right is absolute’, simply because it fitted her desire to limit free speech. All in all, her credibility has been seriously damaged as her agenda is clearly far more important to her than the truth, whatever that may be.

Whaleoil has already questioned her story about her family arriving in New Zealand as refugees.

Now her public posturing has gained attention in places she would not want to be seen.

Simon Jeans of Jeans Lawyers in New South Wales has written an opinion piece on Golriz, first of all pointing out that  ‘in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, there are many human rights which are absolute, such as the right not to be tortured or suffer cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.’ You may be forgiven for expecting a human rights lawyer to know this.

He calls into question her story about being a refugee to New Zealand. Below are extracts from his article. quote:

In a NZ Herald article, Meet Golriz Ghahraman, the Green Party’s newest Member of Parliament, 7 October 2017, Kirsty Johnston writes, “Most of Golriz Ghahraman’s childhood memories are of war.  She remembers howling sirens, sending families scurrying into basements.  She remembers people being trapped.”  In her Maiden Speech to Parliament, she said, “I remember the bombs and the sirens, running to a basement and just waiting.  But mostly I remember kids my age who stopped talking from the shell shock, and I still don’t know what happened to them.”[2]

Ms Ghahraman stated in June 2017 that “I’m from Mashhad in the north of Iran”[3].  She was proud of her city and claimed that since Mosul in northern Iraq had been destroyed, it was the most important “holy city” for the Shi’a.  This claim is incorrect because the most important Shi’a cities have always been Najaf with the shrine of Imam Ali, and Karbala with the shrine of Imam Hussein.  In the order of revered Shi’a holy men, Ali is the first Imam, Hussein is the third and Mashhad has the shrine for Imam Reza, lower down the list as the fifth Imam of the 12 Imams.

The significance of Ms Ghahraman’s statement is that she has an affinity with Mashhad, which indicates she was living there and not in Tehran.

Ms Ghahraman makes much of the claim that she is a refugee.  In her Maiden Speech to the Parliament she said:

“I never intended to run as the first ever refugee MP but I quickly realised that my face and my story mean so much to so many, so my fear of tokenism dissipated.”

The claim that she is a “refugee” does not stand up to scrutiny[6].  It is all the more shocking because hundreds of thousands have been killed, imprisoned and tortured since the Islamic Revolution in January 1979.  About 3 million fled the regime and mostly went to Europe, USA, Canada and Australia.  Opponents of the regime do not dare return to Iran, even for a visit.  The regime had death squads operating in Europe in the 1980s and 1990s and there is evidence they have restarted.  This is a regime which hunts down opponents even after they have fled the country.

The claim to be a refugee from Iran is a significant claim, historically and morally.  Too many people have been tortured, executed or forced to flee for their lives for anyone to claim this status without justification.  Unlike her and her parents who left by plane, many escaped in dangerous journeys over the mountains to Turkey or across the border into Iraq.  Many died or were killed in the attempt. 

Golriz Ghahraman  attending school in Iran Source/ Facebook” Alternative caption: Golriz in Mashhad taking cover in a missile shelter during the Iran-Iraq war”.LOL

[Ms Ghahraman]  described how she left Iran, with an orderly departure at an airport.  The family was issued with passports, given permission to leave the country and allowed to take a holiday in Malaysia.  The regime had a watch list to stop opponents obtaining passports and departing from an airport.

This indicates that Ms Ghahraman’s family were viewed by the regime as their supporters.  Her father was undertaking strategic research.  That he was allowed to travel outside Iran with his family, indicates he was trusted to return.  He would only have been given these benefits if he was either a supporter of the regime or harboured no indications of opposition to them.  All government workplaces had monitoring units to ensure adherence to the principles of the Islamic Revolution.  The issuing of passports, permission to leave for a holiday and an orderly departure, is not consistent with people who were persecuted by the regime.

Ms Ghahraman is not a refugee or a “child asylum seeker[7]”.  Her claims of war and persecution do not stand up to scrutiny.  Her claim to be a “refugee” is disrespectful to the victims of the regime and the millions of Iranians forced to leave the country under threat of torture and death.  She is the child of parents who, like all migrants, wanted a better future for their children, especially as she was approaching the years of high school and university.  They made the right choice because Ms Ghahraman has had access to education and other benefits not available to her, had they stayed in Iran.end quote.

I will leave it to you to make up your own mind about this member of our Parliament. But as you do, remember that here in New Zealand, we demand the highest standards from our elected representatives. Golriz Ghahraman has fabricated a back story to gain sympathy, lied about her activities as a lawyer to gain respect and credibility and incorrectly represented the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to suit her own agenda. This person is not fit to represent New Zealanders as part of our government.

I call on Golriz Ghahraman to resign from Parliament immediately.


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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