New Zealand Law Society - Ad authority rejects complaint about video featuring ex-lawyer

Ad authority rejects complaint about video featuring ex-lawyer

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) says a complaint about a video shared by Golriz Ghahraman, the now Green MP and human rights lawyer until her election in September 2017, was not misleading.

Ms Ghahraman shared an Al Jazeera video of “9 inspiring women who crushed it in 2017” in which Ms Ghahraman was listed. The video description was: “New Zealand’s first refugee MP. Golriz Ghahraman fights for human rights.  She fled post-revolution Iran at age nine. Ghahraman became a human rights lawyer who has spent her career defending vulnerable communities.”

Photo of Golriz Ghahraman

Her own post said: “I’m so so humbled to be included in Al Jazeera’s 9 women who crushed it in 2017! Buzzing!”

One complainant said: “Within the video …. we have a list MP, Golriz Ghahraman, who is touted as having spent her career defending vulnerable communities. This is misleading to the public, as she has not been representing communities, as the Green Party would have people believe. Instead she has been representing several war criminals that have victimised vulnerable communities; which is the opposite of what the claim is asserting.”

Another complainant shared similar views that the video’s claims were misleading.

The comments refer to publicity around Ms Ghahraman’s defending of people charged with heinous crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

The ASA’s Chair ruled there was no breach of the Code of Ethics and the advertisement had been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility required by Basic Principle 4 of the Code.

The listing, which featured Ms Ghahraman at No.5 also includes a campaigner against bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan, a Native American campaigner in the United States and a woman who works with victims of sexual assault in the US and who was the first person to use the Me Too hashtag, more than a decade ago.