Control Arms: Campaign reveals Arms realities behind new Nicholas Cage film Lord of War

Lord of War stars Nicolas Cage, Ethan Hawke and Ian Holm. It follows arms dealer Yuri Orlov (Cage), who sells weapons from the former Communist Bloc into African conflict zones, taking advantage of the lack of controls on the Arms to evade Interpol agent Jack Valentine (Hawke).

Experts from Amnesty and Oxfam exposed the failings of international regulations that allow arms dealers and gunrunners to ship weapons into the world’s worst conflict zones, and arms those who are torturing and massacreing civilians.

Brian Wood, one of Amnesty International’s researchers on the international Arms, said:

'The sad truth is that this film is largely based on facts. Gunrunners really are able to fly and ship weapons into conflict zones where civilians are slaughtered. They can arm some of the world’s worst human rights abusers. Yet the lack of legally-binding controls means that, like Nicolas Cage's character, they can laugh in the face of the law.

'When people leave the cinema a lot of them will say ‘that’s awful, but Nicolas Cage's character would never get away with it in real life’. But arms brokers and transporters can and do, even in the UK. That's why governments worldwide must bring the international Arms, including brokers and transporters, under very strict ethical control.'

Anna Macdonald, Head of Campaigns at Oxfam, said:

'Filmgoers don’t have to sit back and accept this. If people are shocked by this film, they can do something about it. Just by visiting www.controlarms.org they can join our campaign and help bring this deadly trade under control.

'It's the world's poorest people who suffer the most from arms proliferation. An Arms Treaty is desperately needed, to stop the flow of arms to abusers and to help make all our societies safer.'

'Killer Facts'

  • There are 639 million small arms in the world, or one for every ten people, produced by over 1,000 companies in at least 98 countries
  • Eight million more small arms are produced every year and 16 billion units of ammunition - more than two new bullets for every man, woman and child on the planet
  • Over 400,000 people on average are killed every year with conventional arms
  • There are 300,000 child soldiers involved in conflicts
  • Torture and ill-treatment by state officials - mostly armed police - was persistent in over 70 countries between 1997 and 2000
  • Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls are raped at gunpoint during armed conflict – for example, 15,700 in Rwanda and 25,000 in Croatia and Bosnia

Amnesty International, Oxfam and IANSA (International Action Network on Small Arms) have joined forces to form the Control Arms campaign, calling for an international Arms Treaty that would introduce tough, legally-binding controls on the trade in deadly weapons. Already Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has voiced his support for the campaign. But more needs to be done before the treaty gains worldwide acceptance.

The organisations are asking people to join their online Million Faces Petition at www.controlarms.org

Lord of War is released nationwide on 14 October. For more information visit...

For more information on the Arms and the Control Arms campaign, visit... /b>

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