{mosimage}"If today we concentrate on Camp Ashraf, it is because Camp Ashraf has become a beacon in the fight for the democratic principles of the Iranian people"
A majority of backbench MPs on 11 March 2010 called on the Government to take urgent measures at the United Nations for the world body to protect 3,400 Iranian opposition members based at Camp Ashraf in Iraq. The cross-party MPs were backed in their call by more than 150 Peers. The announcement was made at a press conference in the House of Commons, where MPs and Peers spoke in defence of the PMOI opposition group in Camp Ashraf.
 

Transcript of speech by Lord Wedderburn QC:
 
{mosimage}I would like to firstly express my gratitude to Robin Corbett who has done so much for this cause. He has assembled such large numbers on all sides in the House of Commons and also in the House of Lords in support of the Iranian people’s struggle for democracy. It is a most remarkable all party pressure which has never been more needed than at the moment.
 
We meet at a very sensitive moment in terms of elections. Iraq has just had one and it is our intention and our duty to do everything we can to ensure that the British government with which we are confronted now and will be confronted later this year does everything to demand that a new Iraqi government abide by international law in guaranteeing the safety of the Camp Ashraf residents.
 
Premier Al-Maliki has made it clear that he wishes to evict the residents of Camp Ashraf and amongst those matters which we have all signed up to on this splendid statement, the first and overwhelming priority is that the residents of Camp Ashraf must not be evicted. That is the first message which on all sides we must put, not only to the new Iraqi administration when it is formed, but also to our own leaders on all sides of British politics. Furthermore through them and through the United Nations we must also make representations to the United States authorities.
 
The US due to the presence of their forces on the ground in Iraq has a very important role to play in protecting Camp Ashraf. We urge the United States authorities to intervene and prevent the siege of Camp Ashraf and the unhappy events which have overcome some of its residents in the past year.
 
Camp Ashraf is a place and location for residents who must not be displaced and in particular must not be subject to pressure from Iranian agents, as has happened throughout recent months. The pressure imposed by these Iranian agents is to the severe detriment not only of the rights of the residents under international law and humanitarian law but particularly the rights of those residents who are patients in the hospital facilities at Camp Ashraf. These patients have been subjected to the torment of Iranian pressure, as they have been denied access to doctors and medicine.
 
Our government, international organisations and other nations must act fast to ensure that this sort of threat to the residents of Camp Ashraf is lifted, but further that the residents face no forcible displacement within or outside of Iraq.
 
As it is a sensitive time in the electoral process in various countries, it is a moment when we should congratulate the entire democratic Iranian Opposition movement whose centre has become noted so much in the residents of Camp Ashraf. These Iranians are in favour of a democratic solution to the problems which beset us in the region.
 
Today we concentrate on Camp Ashraf, because we have one simple and clear request to all governments and international administrations, that the residents of Camp Ashraf must be protected under international law. This demand is simple and cannot be misunderstood and must not be misunderstood in the future policies that result from these elections.
 
In particular we request that the United Nations Mission in Iraq take up a full time protection role in relation to Camp Ashraf and not merely as an observer of the crimes committed by the Iraqi government. The United Nations was not merely set up to observe breaches of international law and its Mission in Iraq needs to be expanded in its role in this respect.
 
The human rights and international legal rights of the residents of Camp Ashraf are a platform for which Robin Corbett has done so much and which we today applaud and support in the statement which has been put before you here.
 
We are now at a sensitive time for democracy both in Iraq and in this country, but also indeed in Iran where the right to express a different view can lead to torture and death. The widespread demonstrations which have taken place in Iran throughout recent months clearly indicate that the Iranian people are advancing towards democratic freedom. This British government and other administrations while demanding that the rights of the Camp Ashraf residents are protected, must further support the brave people of Iran in their struggle for democracy.
 
If today we concentrate on Camp Ashraf, it is because Camp Ashraf has become a beacon in the fight for the democratic principles of the Iranian people.  We must therefore put with great force to all those who aspire to administer our democratic states our demand that the legal rights of the Camp Ashraf residents are protected.
 
Our first duty is that we make it clear to the new Iraqi administration that the residents of Camp Ashraf must not be evicted and that the residents of Camp Ashraf must have provided for them opportunities for proper contact with relatives and with legal representatives who will make clear their international legal rights
 
Furthermore, the United Nations itself has a duty to enlarge the role of its Mission in Iraq and be clear that it will support and underpin the rights of the residents of Camp Ashraf in this period of elections in this country and in Iraq and in the future. The UN must also guarantee that the Camp Ashraf residents will not be subjected to the torment of worry of expulsion to some other arid camp and that they are not subjected to Iranian pressure from the Mullahs who appear to want to extinguish Camp Ashraf in a more serious manner.
 
It is a very proud matter for me to attend another meeting of this group and I feel sure that all of us will send that message to Robin Corbett that so many members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords have supported this cause. There is an enormous voice from this country that supports democracy in Iran and thereby supports the residents of Camp Ashraf who must not be evicted or displaced.
 
If we send one message to the new administrations that the elections in various countries are producing is the simple message with which the statement we have signed begins, that the residents of Camp Ashraf be no longer besieged and that the residents of Camp Ashraf be delivered some form of confidence that they will not be evicted or displaced.