WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47) on Monday applauded the reintroduction of the Vietnamese Human Rights Act of 2011 by Congressman Chris Smith. Rep. Sanchez is an original co-sponsor of the bill.
H.R. 1410 would prohibit any increase in U.S. non-humanitarian aid to Vietnam until significant progress is made with regard to political and religious rights for the Vietnamese People. It also encourages the Vietnamese government to release political and religious prisoners and respect the human rights of ethnic minorities and requires certification that no government official or government entity is involved either explicitly or implicitly with the crime of human trafficking. The Vietnamese government has backslid on earlier promises to address Vietnam’s persistent violations of basic human rights.
“This resolution would limit non-humanitarian funding to Vietnam until significant improvements are made to Vietnam’s human rights record. The United States Congress stands behind the courageous Vietnamese, who have peacefully protested the government’s restrictions on their freedoms, and supports them in their efforts to bring freedom and democracy to their country, “said Sanchez. “I am especially concerned by the plight of peaceful protestor Mr. Cu Huy Ha Vu, who expressed views at odds with Vietnam’s government policies and like many others was charged with violation of Article 88 of the Penal Code and sentenced to seven years of imprisonment.
“The harassment, arbitrary detention, and imprisonment of prominent activists including Professor Pham Minh Hoang, writer Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, Father Nguyen Van Ly, Dr. Pham Hong Son, attorney Le Quoc Quan and those who came to the courthouse in Hanoi to show support for Mr. Cu Huy Ha Vu is intolerable and unacceptable. I urge the Government of Vietnam to cease all forms of repression and work for significant human rights progress. I will continue to advocate for the freedoms of speech, expression, and religion that belong to all people, including the citizens of Vietnam.”