Actor Nicolas Cage Speaks Out on Behalf of Gulf Coast Hurricane Survivors Ahead of Fifth Anniversary in Amnesty International Video

August 30, 2010

NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — With tens of thousands of hurricane survivors still prevented from returning or rebuilding five years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita — and the Gulf Coast now reeling from the disastrous oil spill — actor Nicolas Cage is speaking up on behalf of victims in a video produced by Amnesty International USA.

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In the film http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=305hghTajTw Cage talks with local community leaders in New Orleans as he tours the storms’ devastation in the Lower Ninth Ward. “People in the Gulf Coast have the right to return to affordable safe housing,” says Cage, who participated in Amnesty International’s Annual General Meeting in New Orleans last spring.

Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA, also speaking in the film, urges the U.S. government to put human rights at the core of the response to the oil spill and future disasters, to avoid human rights violations similar to those that occurred after the hurricanes.

The video was released along with an update to Amnesty International’s groundbreaking April report, “Un-Natural Disaster: Human Rights in the Gulf Coast,” which says the catastrophic oil spill is compounding the botched recovery from Katrina and Rita for the region’s most vulnerable residents. To read the report please visit: http://www.amnestyusa.org/dignity/pdf/unnaturaldisaster.pdf

Amnesty International said the key to avoiding a repeat of the mistakes made during the storms recovery effort — and a reoccurrence of human rights violations — is to amend the federal Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to ensure that human rights principles are at the core of response and recovery plans.

The U.S. government promised to put in place a framework to guide long-term responses to future natural disasters. And President Obama established a working group to develop a new framework, although it has yet to be released.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 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.

SOURCE Amnesty International

Source: newswire

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