Sending Office: Honorable Christopher H. Smith
Sent By:

Cosponsors: Smith,
Lowenthal, Lofgren, Cicilline

It’s been a bad year for human rights in Vietnam. U.S. citizen Michael Nguyen, a father of four from Los Angeles, remains detained without due process and he was not the only American arrested and mistreated in Vietnam last year.  The Vietnamese government’s
treatment of U.S. citizens is unacceptable, but their efforts to crush civil society, suppress free speech and religion, and jail bloggers and rights advocates make Vietnam one of the world’s worst abusers of human rights.

The Vietnamese government has handed out sentences totally over 100 years in prison
and house arrest to human rights defenders and democracy advocates. 
There are well over 100 political and religious prisoners in Vietnam, including labor and democracy advocates, journalists, and religious leaders.
22 bloggers have been jailed in 2018 alone.   

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 U.S.-Vietnam relations and any U.S.-led effort to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

H.R. 1383, 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. Passing the VNHRA again this year will send a message that
human rights will be an ongoing and critical part of U.S.-Vietnam relations.

For more information about the bill or to cosponsor, contact Will Green at

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence

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