Members of the US Congress: Vote for Vietnam Human Rights Act (HR 1897)
To stop the escalation of human rights abuses in Vietnam
With Burma initiating important political reforms, Vietnam now stands as the worst violator of human rights and worst enemy of democracy in Southeast Asia. In recent weeks the situation has already gotten worse. Following are excerpts from the most recent press release from Human Rights Watch, dated June 20, 2013:
• On June 7, 2013, five men believed to be police officers assaulted 26-year-old blogger Nguyen Hoang Vi (also known as An Do Nguyen) and legal activist Pham Le Vuong Cac on a Ho Chi Minh City street. According to Vietnamese bloggers, the attackers had been monitoring Nguyen Hoang Vi and her family for several days and beat her into unconsciousness, leaving wounds requiring hospital treatment. Nguyen Hoang Vi is a prominent Internet personality who was also attacked on May 5-6, 2013, after playing a leading role in an attempted “human rights picnic” in Ho Chi Minh City.
• On June 13, police arrested 61-year-old blogger Pham Viet Dao at his Hanoi home, also for “abusing democratic freedoms,” according to an announcement by the Ministry of Public Security, thus signaling his likely prosecution under article 258. His website, like that of Truong Duy Nhat, had been critical of a number of Vietnamese political leaders.
• On June 15, Dinh Nhat Uy was arrested pursuant to article 258. His younger brother, Dinh Nguyen Kha, had been sentenced to eight years in prison on May 16, 2013, for distributing leaflets critical of state foreign and domestic policies. Dinh Nhat Uy, 30, was arrested in Long An province after launching an Internet campaign calling for his brother’s release and posting pictures and notes on his Facebook account. He was accused of “distorting the truth and badly influencing the prestige of state organizations,” as the official news Agency VNA put it.
We call on our members of Congress to send a strong message to the Vietnamese government. Please co-sponsor HR 1897.
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