Do Phu Nguyen is a leader for the Democratic Party in Little Saigon. He’s been working towards pressuring the Obama administration to fight for human rights in Vietnam by using trade as a means of bartering for human rights. He leads a wildly successful petition drive and reports on his recent trip to Washington DC for meetings with federal government leaders and Obama administration officials.
Here is the update on the petition to the White House matter from Obama administration:
On May 11, 2012, the Obama Administration set up a meeting with Vietnamese American community leaders including Do Phu Nguyen VP of SBTN, Dr. Quan Nguyen, Vietnamese American Leaders Anh Do of Maryland, Virginia, Community Leaders of Nebraska, Tennessee, Orlando, Florida, Illinois, Texas…. through a meeting with the State Department. Present at the meeting was Daniel Bayer, Deputy of Human Rights and Democracy for Southeast Asia., Laura Scheibe, Country Officer, Office of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Gregory C. May, Vietnam Desk Officer. The Obama Administration has officially respond to the petition on April 27, 2012. You can see the response on https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/stop-expanding-trade-vietnam-expense-human-rights/53PQRDZH .
This is the first time that an Administration responded formally in both English and Vietnamese on its website. The administration has kept its promise by engaging in talking with the Vietnamese American people by updating its efforts on human rights with Vietnam and listening to the community input by setting up frequent meeting which May 11 was the first after its formal response. In addition, the state department informed the delegates that since April 2012, human rights condition in Vietnam has prevented Vietnam from becoming a strategic partner with the US. The State Department will incorporate all of the Vietnamese American concerns about human rights into their next dialogue with Vietnam in Hanoi on Oct 2012.
Subsequently, on May 15, 2012, Mike Poster, Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at Department of State testified at the Tom Lantos Congressional Hearing that Vietnam Human human rights condition is unacceptable. The condition is worsened since the Bush administration took Vietnam out the CPC ( Country of Particular Concern list) and the Vietnamese Government has arbitrarily detain bloggers, writers indefinitely for crime of propaganda against the state.
On behalf of SBTN, Do Phu request Congress to pressure the Vietnamese government to abide by the bilateral trade agreement, to allow all American media entities including SBTN to freely market their program in Vietnam. Since signing the bilateral trade agreement with the US, Vietnamese company media companies have been freely market their programs in the US while American companies cannot do so.