MP gets cross party support and a security escort

security escort

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is being accompanied by a security escort at all times following a series of death threats.

The MP has seen a significant escalation in threats of violence following comments by ACT MP David Seymour, a source told Stuff.

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

Ghahraman said the situation was fuelled by a Newshub report on white supremacy, which detailed online threats including “hanging her like a lynch mob”.

Two members of Parliament, Louisa Wall (Labour) and Jo Hayes (National), have written a letter to Seymour in their capacity as representatives of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

“Your comments have had a significant adverse effect on Golriz and, in the absence of a Code of Conduct for members of the House, we ask that you reflect on your behaviour and consider offering a public apology to Golriz for the comments made, preferably in the House.”

Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard says ACT Leader David Seymour’s comments were bullying.

In an interview with Magic Talk radio’s Sean Plunket about freedom of speech, Seymour referred to “mass murderers” in history such as Mao Tse Tung, Stalin and Hitler using the suppression of free expression to gain power.

He then added: “I just think Golriz Ghahraman is completely wrong.

“I don’t know if she understands what she is saying but Golriz Ghahraman is a real menace to freedom in this country.”

Seymour said he didn’t feel responsible for the threats. “We have robust debates, she gives as good as she gets.”

He said in a number of instances, Ghahraman had personally attacked him. “I’ve said that she is a menace to a particular issue, which is freedom of speech.”

Ghahraman’s studies at Oxford University and her career as a lawyer in New Zealand and overseas have focused on enforcing human rights and holding governments to account.

She worked for United Nations Tribunals as part of both defence (Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia) and prosecution (Cambodia) teams.

Her work has also included restoring communities after war and human rights atrocities, particularly empowering women engaged in peace and justice initiatives.


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