{mosimage}"It would be criminal for the United Nations, the US authorities and this British government to stand aside as the residents of Camp Ashraf are threatened with violence and brutally attacked" 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 Joe Benton MP:
 
{mosimage}I felt I had a duty to come along to once again add my support for everything that is trying to be achieved in terms of justice and freedom for the cause of the residents of Camp Ashraf and the people of Iran.
 
I share the great concern of my colleagues and that of all human beings and all decent people in relation to the atrocities that are being carried out by the Iraqi authorities against Camp Ashraf.
 
The Camp Ashraf residents are denied the most basic of necessities, including access to relatives, doctors and lawyers. In Iran the population is denied the basic elements of democracy and the right to freedom of thought.
 
Undoubtedly we have a duty to bring forceful pressure on the British government to intervene in demanding that the rights of the Camp Ashraf residents are respected under international. However, in reality on the ground in Iraq it is the United Nations which must intervene to guarantee that these Iranians face no forcible displacement whether inside or outside of Iraq and to ensure they obtain the basic necessities of food, water, medicine and fuel.
 
The United Nations further has a duty to protect the people of Iran who have in recent months faced unprecedented suppression. We have seen young men and women shot dead in the streets of Iran’s cities simply for demanding basic freedom and democracy. These atrocities and crimes against humanity carried out by the Iranian regime must not go unpunished.
 
I am proud to consider myself as part of this movement for democratic change in Iran. It would be criminal for the United Nations, the US authorities and this British government to stand aside as the residents of Camp Ashraf are threatened with violence and brutally attacked. The UN must now set up a protection presence at Camp Ashraf in order to guarantee the rights of individuals who are "protected persons” under the Fourth Geneva Convention.