National Rifle Association Slammed for Deceptions in Opposing International Arms Trade Treaty

Press Release
March 4, 2013

National Rifle Association Slammed for Deceptions in Opposing International Arms Trade Treaty

Former Child Soldier Emmanuel Jal and Virginia Tech Shooting Survivor Colin Goddard Speak Out at Amnesty International Briefing March 7

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, strimel@aiusa.org, 212-633-4150, @AIUSAmedia

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Weeks before crucial talks begin at the United Nations to finalize a global Arms Trade Treaty, Amnesty International will host an open media breakfast with hip hop artist and humanitarian Emmanuel Jal and Virginia Tech shooting survivor Colin Goddard at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 7 at the National Press Club (Writer's Room) in Washington, D.C.

Jal, a former child soldier from South Sudan, will be available for one-on-one interviews with journalists following the event and during the day Thursday.

Frank Jannuzi, chief advocacy officer and head of the Washington office of Amnesty International USA, will participate at the briefing and is available for media interviews.

Jal knows firsthand the horrors of being a child on the frontlines. At the age of seven, he was uprooted from his village and sent to fight with the rebel army in Sudan's brutal civil war. For nearly five years, Jal carried and slept next to an AK-47 that was taller than him. Eventually, Jal and 300 other "lost boys" managed to escape, enduring a 3-month trek on foot without any supplies to reach safety. He was one of only a handful of survivors. The award-winning documentary 'War Child' chronicles Jal's life and his emergence as a musician and humanitarian sharing a message of peace for his war-torn land and beloved Africa.

Goddard was a student at Virginia Tech when a gunman shot him and killed 32 people in April, 2007. He has been a vocal supporter of the Arms Trade Treaty, as well as an advocate for tighter restrictions on the sale of guns in the United States. He is featured in the documentary "Living for 32," in which he describes the terror he experienced in the Virginia Tech shooting, and his path to renewal.

To schedule an interview or RSVP to attend the breakfast, please call or email Suzanne Trimel, AIUSA media relations director, at strimel@aiusa.org or 212-633-4150.

EVENT: ATT Media Breakfast with Emmanuel Jal
DATE: Thursday, March 7
TIME: 8:30 a.m.
LOCATION: National Press Club (Writer's Room)
                     529 14th Street, NW
                     Washington, D.C. 20045

Why The World Needs an Arms Trade Treaty

Every minute, at least one person dies as a result of armed violence and conflict while the global arms trade remains unregulated. There is currently no universal piece of legislation to regulate and monitor the international trade of arms. In fact, bananas are subject to more international trade rules than weapons. A comprehensive international Arms Trade Treaty sets out to achieve that.

Amnesty International is rallying supporters worldwide to urge President Barack Obama to lead a life-saving effort to adopt the treaty when a second round of talks opens March 18 with member states at the United Nations in New York.

Supported by two-thirds of the world's countries, the arms trade treaty would prevent arms from being sold or traded to dictators, warlords, and other human rights abusers who murder and torture civilians, recruit child soldiers, and commit mass rapes in conflict zones.

People across the world have been working to secure an international arms treaty for over 20 years. With the goal close at hand, Amnesty International USA is fighting a campaign against the gun lobby, including the National Rifle Association, which is riling up its supporters with false claims that the treaty will threaten U.S. Second Amendment rights when in fact, the treaty will have no bearing on domestic gun laws.

The treaty would establish common global standards for how countries import, export, and transfer conventional arms and small weapons. Most importantly, it would prohibit arms transfers where there is substantial evidence that such weapons would lead to serious human rights violations.

For more information, please visit:
http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/military-police-and-arms/arms-trade.

Fact vs. Fiction: Arms Trade Treaty and Gun Ownership in the US:
http://blog.amnestyusa.org/us/fact-vs-fiction-arms-trade-treaty-and-gun-ownership-in-the-us/.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.