More questions asked of Golriz Ghahraman claims

An Australian “accredited specialist in immigration law” who claims to have been working in refugee law since 1990 has raised some serious questions about Green MP Golriz Ghahraman.

Ms Ghahraman is not a refugee or a “child asylum seeker.

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.

MPs have many challenges, often from anonymous people with questionable (or obviously ulterior) motives, but this looks to be a more credible challenge of Ghahraman’s back story and claims.

I think it’s fair to say that, after being touted as a new Green MP with a lot of promise, Ghahraman has had a fairly chequered political career so far. Her activities on social media keep raising questions about her capabilities – and her truthfulness, or possible lack of. I have seen her challenged a number of times for incorrect claims including for repeated incorrect claims.

Some attacks on Ghahraman, particularly in social media, are nasty, reprehensible.

But have been and continue to be valid questions about some of her claims. Her party profile was changed last November after it was questioned: Profile on party website of MP who defended Butcher of Bosnia now changed to be more accurate

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman worked as part of the legal defence team for Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadžić, who was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity.

…her profile page on the Green Party website has now been changed to more accurately reflect the legal defence work she did at the Rwanda Tribunal and The Hague, and the prosecution work she did at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Her profile page on the Green Party website has now been changed, following her admission that it “could be clearer”.

It previously said: “Golriz has lived and worked in Africa, The Hague and Cambodia, putting on trial world leaders for abusing their power.”

Now it says: “Golriz worked for United Nations Tribunals as part of both defence (Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia) and prosecution (Cambodia) teams.”

Her Green Party current profile begins:

Golriz is an Iranian-Kiwi refugee, lucky to escape war and persecution as a child.

After becoming a list candidate (Newshub May 2017): Ten things you need to know about Golriz Ghahraman

2 She’s a former refugee, and fled Iran with her family without telling anyone

She arrived in New Zealand when she was nine years old, and left Iran with her family not telling anyone that they were leaving forever. “We essentially escaped one of the most oppressive regimes in probably modern history, which is the Islamic Republic of Iran and the repression was just a backdrop to a very bloody war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq,” she says.

Some of this has now been questioned by Australian lawyer Simon Jean in GOLRIZ GHAHRAMAN, GREEN PARTY NEW ZEALAND MP

The Green Party MP, Golriz Ghahraman, came to my attention on 3 August 2018 after she posted a video on Twitter saying, “No human right is absolute.  They are all subject to lawful limits.”  I responded 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.  She blocked me on Twitter.

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.”

Ms Ghahraman stated in June 2017 that “I’m from Mashhad in the north of Iran”

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.

Mashhad is the largest city in eastern Iran, near the border with Afghanistan.  It was unaffected by the war, except as a safe haven for many people displaced by the Iran-Iraq war in the west and south.  There were no missiles attacks.  It is 900 km east of Tehran and 1500km from Iraq, well out of Iraqi rocket range.  If she was always living in Mashhad until 1990, the claim of war memories is fictional.

Jean gives more details which suggest at least a lack of completeness in Ghahraman’s Iranian past, and also on her claims to be a war refuge.

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].

The claim to be a refugee from Iran is a significant claim, historically and morally.

Ms Ghahraman has described in the NZ Herald and Stuff online how her parents supported the Islamic Revolution, like many people at that time from all sides of politics who came together to oppose the Shah.

She 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…

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.

I think this warrants a response from Ghahraman. Perhaps she can refute Jean’s claims, or clarify.

 

26 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  August 10, 2018

    odds are the back story is embellished b/s.

    Odds are this is very common for politicians and businessmen.

    Put anyone under the microscope and you will suceed in an expose of some…degree.

    • Ray

       /  August 10, 2018

      All this nit picking, the new Left/Green is not about facts and figures, it’s about the vibe, how you feel is the thing!
      So chuck out the beans counters on the Health Boards who had to meet specific numbers of operations, if you feel you are a women or a man, no problem, that’s what you are (and god help those who try and say different) doesn’t matter if the figures show a down turn if the PM things the vibe is ok, then it is absolutely ok.

      And if Mz Ghahraman thinks she was a refugee who was under fire while escaping on an airline then that is the truth (as she perceives it) period.

      • Blazer

         /  August 10, 2018

        nice work Ray…embrace the world as it is.

      • Gezza

         /  August 10, 2018

        She’s a silly kid.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  August 10, 2018

          Spoilt brat more like it.

          • Blazer

             /  August 10, 2018

            dear oh dear…same shit ,different day…Les Miserables.

          • Gezza

             /  August 10, 2018

            Well, I dunno. She might be but she doesn’t really come across to me as particularly entitled – just an overgrown 16 year old with nothing much useful to say who wouldn’t have a dog’s show of getting into Parliament if it wasn’t for the list. While the last might be said to be true of Chloe Swarbrick, that young lady is going places & at least manages to sound like a professional at her job.

            • Blazer

               /  August 10, 2018

              Lots of seat warming politicians.
              I noticed Ruth Dyson sitting in Parliament the other day.
              Seems to have been there forever,God knows what use she is.
              Plenty of others too…Maggie Barry’ is another.

            • Gezza

               /  August 10, 2018

              True. So we have seat warmers – some of whom have ended up Cabinet Ministers – & Speakers – and now a silly 16 year old.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 10, 2018

              If I lied like that I would have been roasted by my parents. That she wasn’t tells me she is exactly a spoilt brat.

            • Gezza

               /  August 10, 2018

              If I lied like that I would have been roasted by my parents.
              Jesus Christ! They were CANNIBALS???

            • Gezza

               /  August 10, 2018

              Whether she’s a spoiled brat or not she’s an embarrassment & a liability to the Greens.

  2. Traveller

     /  August 10, 2018

    She’s a liar. Her family came on passports issued by the Government, therefore they were clearly trusted by that punitive regime at the time.
    It’s obvious she’s BSed about her life, so why wouldn’t her deception extend to her now apparently fraudulent refugee status.

    This guy Jeans has serious clout within the immigration industry and I’d trust him over her embellishment.

    • Blazer

       /  August 10, 2018

      she tells lies,she will fit in fine in Parliament.

      Seen the back stories of Mitchell,Bennett and as an aside your mate Sir Ray Avery-(donated yet).!

    • I thought that she herself once claimed not to have been a refugee becauses blah blah blah. She must have decided that it sounded better to be one and claim to relate to people who really are refugees.

  3. PDB

     /  August 10, 2018

    Some politicians embellish their life story here and there before entering parliament but Ghahraman appears to have lied about her whole life story & even in parliament continues to make up shit about herself – for example stating (incorrectly on numerous occasions even when her lie was pointed out to her) she was the first ever woman to hold the defense portfolio in parliament.

    Mind you this is the same person who goes on about defeating hate speech whilst a photo circulates of her smiling one-on-one with Simon Bikindi (her looking giddy almost in his presence) – a singer who sang songs urging the Hutu slaughter of Tutsis & who was convicted of incitement to commit genocide for a speech he made over a public address system telling the Hutu population to exterminate all Tutsis. One thing to provide such people a defense, quite another to want to be pictured with them as if they were one’s best friend.

    • PDB

       /  August 10, 2018

      To add – Phil Quin summed her up well last year in an article: “And, thirdly – and politically the most risky for her – she has established a pattern of embellishment and self-aggrandisement that is bound to curtail what might have been a promising career. “

    • Blazer

       /  August 10, 2018

      so what needs to be done with her…and Dr Jiang?

  4. Zedd

     /  August 10, 2018

    Golriz is a Green MP.. good enuf 🙂 😀

    • PDB

       /  August 10, 2018

      With the extremely low standard of MP’s in theri party for once you are probably correct.

      • Zedd

         /  August 10, 2018

        Id rather see 8 Green MPs in Govt.. than more ‘low brow Tories’ in Natl.. who mostly look like ‘shop window dummies, in suits’ with Natl party rosettes on 😀

  5. Go Home You Sanctimonious Hypocrite

     /  August 10, 2018

    Golriz Ghahraman appears to be developing a track record as a deceptive politician deserving to be cast into the Trumpian “we don’t believe a word you say” category.

    This is surprising for a lawyer and perhaps something the Law Society may be inclined to review.

    • Blazer

       /  August 10, 2018

      you seem to think lawyers have..ethics…where you been.

      • Pink David

         /  August 10, 2018

        I find myself in very rare agreement with you Blazer…

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