Amnesty International for Human Rights has issued a travel warning for all visitors to the US in light of the frequent incidents of gun violence.
Human rights organization Amnesty International already issued a travel warning after a wave of gun violence in the US…but that was in 2019. However, gun violence in the US has continued unabated, resulting in many Reshare Counseling on social media. We received questions from our readers about whether it is real or not.
An article from the Jamaica Gleaner, a daily newspaper from Jamaica, on May 26, 2022, claimed that Amnesty International issued a travel warning after the shootings of black agents in Buffalo, New York, and the attack on a church in California. This article has pulled an old Amnesty International press release and attached it to recent events.
In August 2019, Amnesty International wrote in the warning that visitors should have a “contingency plan in place when traveling throughout the USA”. The warning asked people to “be careful of the ubiquitous spread of firearms among the population.” It recommended avoiding places where “a large number of people gather” such as schools, shopping malls, places of worship and cultural events. She also recommended caution when visiting bars, nightclubs and casinos.
The return of this travel warning occurred after a shooting in Ovaldi, Texas, that killed 19 children and two adults on May 24, 2022, when an 18-year-old gunman opened fire on Robb Elementary School.
The 2019 alert was issued just days after 22 people were killed in the shooting of a man at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Amnesty International said the warning was intended “to raise a mirror to the United States using the US Department of State’s travel advice form for US travelers to other countries”. The organization does not appear to regularly issue guidelines of this kind, and was part of their End Gun Violence campaign. They haven’t issued any other similar advice on gun violence since then, although a 2019 warning is still available on Amnesty International’s website.
The advisory also highlighted that a traveler’s race, country of origin, ethnic background, sexual orientation or gender identity may put them at greater risk due to attacks linked to white supremacist ideology.
Given that this is real advice issued by Amnesty International in 2019, we classify this claim as “correct”.
“Amnesty International issues US travel advisory in light of mass shootings”. Jamaica Gleaner, May 26, 2022. https://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/world-news/20220526/amnesty-intl-issues-travel-advisory-us-light-mass-shootings. Accessed June 14, 2022.
“Amnesty International issues travel warnings for the US | DW | 08.08.2019.” DW, 8 August 2019. https://www.dw.com/en/amnesty-international-issues-travel-warning-for-us/a -49939151. Accessed June 14, 2022.
“Group: Uvalde Shooting School.” Snopes.Com, https://www.snopes.com/collections/uvalde-school-shooting/. Accessed June 14, 2022.
“Global Human Rights Movement Issues US Travel Warning Due to Outbreak of Gun Violence.” Amnesty International USA, 7 August 2019. https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/global-human-rights-movement-issues-travel-warning-for-the-us-due-to-rampant -gun -hanf/. Accessed June 14, 2022.
Infographic: Mass shootings in the United States over the past 10 years. Al Jazeera, 25 May 2022. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/5/25/infographic-mass-shootings-in-the-us-over-the-past-10-years. Accessed June 14, 2022.
“Travel Consulting: USA.” Amnesty International USA, 7 August 2019. https://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/government-relations/advocacy/travel-advisory-united-states-of-america/. Accessed June 14, 2022.