Monday, August 3, 2009

Letter From US Senator Barbara Boxer

Dear Mr. Do:

Thank you for writing to me to express your support for the Vietnam Human Rights Act. I appreciate hearing from you, and I share your interest in promoting human rights in Vietnam.

I am pleased to announce that I reintroduced this legislation in the Senate on May 21, 2009 as S.1159.S.1159 would prohibit increased U.S. non-humanitarian assistance to the government of Vietnam until it takes substantial, verifiable steps to release political and religious prisoners, respect religious freedom, return confiscated properties, allow free and open access to refugee programs, respect the rights of ethnic minority groups, and end trafficking in persons.

Unless these requirements are met, this bill would require that any spending increase for U.S. non-humanitarian development, economic, trade, or security assistance be matched or surpassed by additional funding for programs that support human rights training, civil capacity building, and the rule of law.In support of workers' rights, the Vietnam Human Rights Act would also prohibit Vietnam from receiving duty-free treatment for the importation of goods into the United States until Vietnam improves its labor standards and demonstrates respect for the right to freedom of association.

Like you, I am troubled by Vietnam's record of human rights violations, a record that has yet to improve. According to the 2009 Annual Report of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, "Vietnam's overall human rights record remains poor, and has deteriorated since Vietnam joined the WTO in January 2007 . . . Over the past two years, the government has moved decisively to repress any perceived challenges to its authority, tightening controls on the freedom of expression, association, and assembly."

I support a strong U.S.-Vietnam relationship, but the continued growth of that relationship must be met with substantial progress toward improving human rights for the citizens of Vietnam.Again, thank you for writing to me. Please feel free to contact me again about this or other issues of concern to you.

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator


The People's Democratic Party

July 07, 2009

The Honorable Barbara Boxer
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Senator Boxer:

Re: Vietnam’s ongoing of crackdown dissidents and violation of human rights.

On the occasion of your effort to reintroduce The Vietnam Human Rights Act (S.1159) to address human rights abuses in Vietnam, including religious and political persecution, I am writing this letter to call your attention to Vietnam’s on going crackdowns of dissidents and violations of human rights.

- On June 13, 2009, Vietnam arrested attorney Le Cong Dinh, Mr. Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, Mr. Le Thang Long, Ms. Tran Thi Thu and Ms. Le Thi Thu Thu. All were accused of violating Article 88 of the Penal Code of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, which alleged “dissemination of propaganda acts against The Socialist Republic of Vietnam”. In fact, these individuals are pro-democracy activists who bravely raise their voices to promote democracy and freedom for Vietnam.
- On July 7, 2009, Vietnam continues to arrest two more dissidents, Mr. Tran Anh Kim in Ha Noi and Mr. Nguyen Tien Trung in Saigon. Both also were accused of violating Article 88.
- In addition, five democratic activists including writer Nguyen Xuan Nghia, teacher Vu Hung, Mr. Ngo Quynh, Mr. Pham Van Troi and Ms. Pham Thanh Nghien were incarcerated in Hanoi since September 2008 without trials. All were accused of the same violation as the above-named detainees.

Being a member of United Nations Security Council, yet Vietnam continues to commit serious human rights abuses. Using detention to silent dissidents and fragrantly disregarding internationally respected human rights values. To date, many Vietnamese pro-democracy activists such as Father Nguyen Van Ly, lawyers Nguyen Van Dai, Le Thi Cong Nhan, Nguyen Bac Truyen, Tran Quoc Hien, Le Quoc Quan, Dr. Le Nguyen Sang, journalists Huynh Nguyen Dao and Truong Minh Duc, writer Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, Ms. Le Thi Kim Thu and many others have been arrested and suppressed for the peaceful expression of their political views.

- We call on Vietnam's government to accept open and direct dialogue with opposing political party; to end all baseless allegations and arbitrary detentions of pro-democracy activists. We urgently ask that they release these pro-democracy activists immediately.

- The People’s Democratic Party strongly protests and condemns the Vietnamese authorities for their repressive acts and call on the US Senators to urgently pass The Vietnam Human Rights Act (S.1159).

Cong Thanh Do,
Spokesperson of The People’s Democratic Party

- Members of US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Sen. John Kerry, Sen. Richard Lugar, Sen. John Barrasso, Sen. Benjamin Cardin, Sen. Robert Casey, Sen. Bob Corker, Sen. Jim Demint, Sen. Christopher Dodd, Sen. Russell Feingold, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. John Isakson, Sen. Edward Kaufman, Sen. Robert Menendez, Sen. James Risch, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Sen. Jim Webb and Sen. Roger Wicker.
- Members of US Congressional Caucus on Vietnam: Reps. Zoe Lofgren, Loretta Sanchez, Chris Smith and Anh “Joseph” Cao.

1 comment:

  1. If the race of the twenty century was to send a man to the moon and return him home safely then its counterpart of the twenty first century is to send the truth from "Mars" to Earth safely. As I am writing this, that truth has been hidden to the vast majority of the world. Those continue to allow this to be kept will be held accountable under justice.