WTF Friday, 12/8/2017

I’m going to skip right over the fact that a US Congressman is resigning because he asked female subordinates to serve as gestational surrogates. And the fact that Hun Sen and Rodrigo Duterte have both been nominated for the Confucious Peace Prize. AND the fact that an ostensibly serious academic journal published a book review that uses the phrase “lady author” four times in nine paragraphs.

Instead, a very personal WTF:

It’s not that weird for me to spot a friend’s name (or my own, for that matter) in my daily “genocide” Google Alert. Usually they’re not being accused of supporting genocidaires, though. So I was pretty surprised to see Golriz Ghahraman, who was recently elected as New Zealand’s first refugee MP, described as a “straightforward genocide denier”. According to a pro-Rwanda internet troll named Phil Quin (who apparently thinks “UN defence lawyers” are a thing), Golriz’s work as a member of Simon Bikindi’s defense team at the ICTR calls into question “her suitability for public office”.

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This is nonsense from start to finish.

Golriz is a dedicated human rights lawyer who served as a prosecutor at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. Her experiences interning on both the prosecution and defense side at the ICTY and ICTR are what qualified her for that job. Quin’s accusations suggest that he has failed to grasp the core concept of the international justice system; namely, that adjudicating responsibility for serious international crimes through a credible legal process is critical to restoring respect for human rights and rule of law in the aftermath of mass atrocities and preventing future cycles of violence (YMMV). Without competent attorneys on both sides, this would be impossible.

Over at Opinio Juris, Kevin Jon Heller points out that of all the defense counsel who have served at the ICTR, “Quin finds only one worthy of attack: the female refugee MP from the Green Party”. Go f-ing figure.

Kate Cronin-Furman

One Comment

  1. I googled Peter Milward who wrote the review – he was a very old Jesuit – so old, in fast that he passed away in August. It remains utterly mystifying that his review was published, but the knowledge that the person using the phrase was born in 1925 is somewhat comforting.

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