(New York) – Amnesty International USA today launched an online ad campaign to mobilize support against the National Rifle Association leadership’s threat to U.N. adoption of an arms treaty that could save millions of lives worldwide. The human rights organization is calling on the NRA lobby to end their campaign of distortions against the Arms Trade Treaty, which comes up for final negotiations March 18-28, 2013.
In one ad, a red bow and holiday gift card festively tied to an automatic weapon, carries the message: “To: War Criminals, Dictators and Human Rights Abusers. From: NRA Leadership.” The series of ads will be running online on news and advocacy sites throughout the month of January.
“The NRA’s leadership is shamelessly waging an advocacy and fundraising campaign evidently geared to support gun manufacturers in the United States,” said Michelle Ringuette, chief of campaigns and programs for Amnesty International USA. “While the NRA is telling lies about the arms treaty to try to block U.S. government support, millions of people, including children, are caught in the crossfire of illicit weapons sold to dictators, warlords and armed militias around the world. We are urging everyone who wants to help stop senseless deaths worldwide to join this effort and tell the NRA to end its campaign of lies about the global Arms Trade Treaty. The NRA’s leadership must stop interfering in U.S. foreign policy on behalf of the arms industry.”
The treaty, which two-thirds of the world’s countries support, could save hundreds of lives lost every day in armed conflict and gun related violence fueled by the irresponsible and illicit trade in small arms and conventional weapons.
The treaty would establish common global standards for how countries import, export and transfer conventional weapons. Because there is virtually no regulation of the international arms trade, governments and groups known to commit atrocities and abuses can buy weapons traded on the open market and use them with impunity against civilian populations. This coming March, member states of the United Nations will come together for a second round of negotiations to finalize the treaty.
In addition to fueling conflicts, unregulated weapons lead to the recruitment of hundreds of thousands of child soldiers, countless acts of sexual violence, and the displacement of some 26 million people worldwide.
To learn more about the NRA’s tactics and to take action go to: www.amnestyusa.org/weapons
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.