Life imitating art imitating life
His life read like a Hollywood movie script and, inevitably I suppose, it eventually inspired one. Indeed, even today’s coverage of the arrest of arms dealer Victor Bout – upon whom Nicholas Cage’s character in the film Lord of War was apparently based – tells a story that wouldn’t be out of place in your local multiplex.
The Independent describes how a laptop recovered by Colombian troops staging an incursion into Ecuador led to Bout being tracked down to a hotel in Thailand.
He has been accused of trafficking weapons to Central and West Africa since the early 1990s and Amnesty is pointing out once again how we need a global Arms Trade Treaty to close the loopholes that gun-runners like Victor Bout so easily exploit for their own gain, fuelling conflicts where dreadful human rights abuses have occurred.
The Guardian has a picture of Victor Bout in custody yesterday but points out that he has rarely allowed himself to be photographed. His own story will, the paper reckons, one day be told on film, possibly with Russell Crow playing Bout in a bad moustache, dark glasses and a baseball cap.
If anyone needed reminding that it isn’t just in armed conflict that innocent civilians lose their lives to guns then it came yesterday in Jerusalem, where eight people, four of them children, died when gunmen opened fire at a religious school. Amnesty has condemned the killings but also called on the Israeli government to refrain from carrying out attacks that endanger Palestinian civilians in response.
As we said yesterday when launching a widely-publicised report with other organisations on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, collective punishment isn’t acceptable.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.