Golriz Ghahraman says her past was 'not about defending genocide'


Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman denies she has misled the country about her work as a defence lawyer at war crimes tribunals in Rwanda. She worked on defence teams in Rwanda and at The Hague.

Some 800,000 Tutsus were estimated to have been killed during the Rwanda genocide in 1994.  

Ms Ghahraman joins The AM Show to discuss her past involvement in the crime tribunals.

“[The tribunals are] about returning communities to a rule of law model,” says Ms Ghahraman. “It is actually about stopping the cycle of violence.”

Ms Ghahraman did a three-month internship on the defence team for the trial of political leader Joseph Nzirorera in Rwanda, who died before he could be convicted of genocide. She said she also worked on the appeals case for Simon Bikindi, who was convicted of using songs to incite the 1994 genocide.

“It’s not about defending genocide,” says Ms Ghahraman. “That what I find offensive.”

The United Nations is there because we want to say genocide is a crime.

Ms Ghahraman says she has been transparent about her past. She explains that she gave a number of interviews before this year’s election, as well as included her full CV details on the Green Party website.

“It’s something I’m really proud of,” she says.

Watch the full interview with Golriz Ghahraman above.

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.