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MEDIA CONTACT: Nidya Sarria, [email protected] 

(WASHINGTON, DC) – As the U.S. witnesses a growing climate of prejudice and scapegoating, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) is launching a new campaign today urging U.S. leaders to recommit to policies based on human rights rather than fear. Focusing on the refugee crisis, anti-Muslim discrimination and counterterrorism policies, the campaign, entitled The America I Believe In, urges people around the country to demand that U.S. officials support laws and policies true to the country’s best ideals, domestically and as a world leader.

To mark the campaign launch and the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (June 26), AIUSA today released a powerful new video calling on the U.S. to never return to using torture in the name of national security. Featuring several children sharing their thoughts on the CIA’s past torture program and what they believe America stands for, the video frames the issue as a straightforward matter of right and wrong.

In the video, one child says: “My parents always taught me the line between right and wrong. ‘Always try to use your words before you use your hands,’ was one of the most important.” Another child says: “We’re young and we know it’s wrong, so if you’re an adult and you think it’s okay, then it’s just, what are you showing kids?”

The full video is at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFkOz_G5Ktc&app=desktop

“When U.S. leaders choose what’s wrong over what’s right, the consequences have been significant and damaging,” said Amnesty International interim executive director Margaret Huang. “Our past has shown what happens when we give in to fear and racism – torture, internment camps, and suspicionless surveillance. It is a legacy that cannot be repeated.”

The America I Believe In campaign will illustrate why the need for the U.S.’s leadership on human rights is so urgent, with 60 million people globally displaced from their homes because of conflict and crisis, and millions of American Muslims and immigrants at risk of discrimination and violence in the U.S.  The campaign calls on Congress, the Obama Administration, and state legislators to enact policies that help refugees resettle safely in the U.S. and other countries and urges policymakers to resist calls to increase the use of torture, racial profiling, and suspicionless surveillance.

“Fear and bigotry will not make us safer,” said Huang, “The U.S. should be a leader on human rights, which means ensuring that all people can live their lives and pursue their dreams without any barriers or discrimination. That’s the America I believe in.”

Go to the America I Believe In campaign landing page: www.amnestyusa.org/IBelieve

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning global movement of more than 7 million people who campaign for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.