{mosimage}"We in the British Parliament must act as the protectors of our friends in Ashraf" 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 Baroness Turner of Camden:
 
{mosimage}What an honour it is to speak after Madam Rajavi. What a remarkable woman she is and what courage she has. One really hesitates to say how wonderful she is, because she really is quite remarkable.
 
I remember I first became interested in the PMOI and its activities when I read the agenda for women that Madam Rajavi published, which is in favour of gender equality.  In contrast, the mullahs in Iran repress women, other dissidents and anyone who dares to disagree with their Islamic fundamentalist and intolerant system.
 
We are right to be very concerned about what happens to the inhabitants of Ashraf. We cannot be sure that the election that is taking place in Iraq will produce a government that is other than under the influence of the mullahs.  If that happens, it means that our colleagues and our friends in Ashraf remain in very grave danger indeed.
 
We in the British Parliament must act as the protectors of our friends in Ashraf.  For that reason, we have to put pressure on our own government, because our own government has influence in Iraq, as of course does the US government.  We must also maintain pressure on the UN, because there is a need for the UN to exercise authority there. The people of Ashraf are protected under international law and they deserve UN monitoring to guarantee their safety.
 
I fully support the statement that we have announced today. I signed it. I am very glad that so many of the members in our House, 150 Peers of all parties have signed up to it. One of the things about this campaign is that it is genuinely all party. Members of all parties are in support of what we are trying to do, to ensure that the inhabitants of Ashraf are not harmed, as they may very well be if the present leadership in Iraq is not replaced by at least people with some respect for international law.
 
I am very glad that there there are so many of us here today.  It is an illustration of just how strongly we feel about Ashraf and so we must continue to maintain pressure on all parties to ensure protection of those who are so deserved of our protection.
 
I have no doubt that after more than 30 years of resistance against tyranny and oppression, the people of Ashraf will continue to guide and inspire their people in their efforts to overthrow the regime.  It will not be long now before the residents of Ashraf stand beside their people in a free and democratic Iran.