Sending Office: Honorable Christopher H. Smith
Cosponsors: Comstock, Sherman, Ros-Lehtinen, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Correa, Posey
One month ago, lawyer Nguyen Van Dai and five of his fellow human rights defenders were sentenced to a combined 66 years in prison and another 17 years under house arrest–simply for trying to defend the rights of Vietnamese citizens.
There are currently 169 political and religious prisoners in Vietnam, including bloggers, labor and democracy advocates, and religious leaders.
Freedom House rates Vietnam as “Not Free” with one of the world’s most restrictive legal, press and internet environments. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom again this year recommended that Vietnam be designated as a “Country of
Particular Concern” for egregious religious freedom abuses.
As the U.S.-Vietnam relationship grows, the Vietnamese government should not get a free pass on human rights. The freedom of religion, freedom of the press, Internet Freedom, independent labor unions, the protection of women and girls from trafficking,
and advances in the rule of law must be critical components of any U.S. led effort to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region. No government that egregiously abuses the freedoms of its citizens can be counted on as a reliable trade or security
H.R. 5621, the Vietnam Human Rights Act (VNHRA), is a bipartisan bill that passed three times in the House with overwhelming margins, only to stall in the Senate. This year, passing the VNHRA again will send a message that human rights must be a critical
component of U.S.-Vietnam relations.
For more information about the bill or to cosponsor, contact Scott Flipse at 6-3777 or
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