Skip to comments.Smith Convenes Vietnam Human Rights and Religious Freedom Hearing on Eve of Prime Minister's Visit
Posted on 06/17/2005 5:08:51 PM PDT by Interesting Times
Official Visit of Prime Minister to occur June 21
When: 2:00 pm; Monday June 20, 2005
Where: 2172 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC
Who: Human Rights and Religious Freedom Experts
US Commission on International Religious Freedom Commissioner, Nina Shea; Human Rights Watch; Boat People SOS; Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam; Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam
Washington, D.C. --- Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chairman of the Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations subcommittee, will convene a hearing June 20, to examine the government of Vietnam's respect for human rights and religious freedom.
The hearing comes in advance of an official visit to the White House by Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai and is the highest-level visit since the end of the Vietnam War. The meeting is designed to mark 10 years of diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam. However, there remain serious concerns over Vietnam's human rights record, which should be addressed prior to and during the visit.
"Last year the Department of State designated Vietnam a 'Country of Particular Concern' for its gross violations of religious freedom," said Smith who sponsored the "Vietnam Human Rights Act," which has cleared the House twice but stalled in the Senate. "While Vietnam has showcased its release of some prominent political prisoners, we can not lose sight of the fact that the government has failed to make systematic changes such as allowing the freedom of worship, legalizing banned religious groups, and reopening churches.
Smith said, "Vietnam earned its CPC status by imprisoning religious leaders and restricting the activities of Protestants, Catholics, Buddhists and members of Vietnam's indigenous faiths. Organized religious institutions which refuse to allow their leadership to be hand-picked by Hanoi are systematically harassed. These religious freedom violations, along with the swift imprisonment of anyone who criticizes the state, shed light on the government's continued pattern of abuse in Vietnam."
Smith said Vietnam also prohibits the formation of independent political, labor, and social organizations and has repeatedly denied passports to victims of religious or political persecution being considered or accepted for refugee admission by the United States.
Vietnam freedom ping.
Thanks for the heads-up.
From the public information one generally hears these days in the news, Vietnam has basicly been 'cleansed' of any negatives from the past. All mentions of the nation seem positive and devoid of any hint of a problem with the present government. Nobody seems to remember the aftermath of the Vietnam war in Vietnam.
No actors call press conferences to decry anything negative Vietnam has done or is doing. It's as if it exists in a void, and is the only entity allowed to issue press releases about itself, all positive.
The media group-think going on right now with regard to Vietnam causes me to scratch my head from time to time.
Thanks for the report.
This is a matter of the highest conscience. Please email President Bush at email@example.com to request he meet with Vietnamese dissidents, as he has with Sharansky and Khang, to highlight the oppression in Vietnam.
The Vietnamese, minorities, religous, and political dissidents are truly sent to "gulags" (Senator Durbin, take note).
The only chance they have for even a little lessening up by the thugocracy in Hanoi is the pressure of the U.S. press, in exchange for our trade to keep the corrupt and aging Politburo in power.
I'll send an email. I must point out though, that our government is very selective who they apply pressure to these days. Out side of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Syria, we seem pretty loathe to place pressure on others.
Oh, I forgot. Israel merits a lot of pressure.
China, Mexico, Vietnam... well, I wouldn't hold my breath!
Back in '98 or '99, maybe '00, Klintoon was coming to visit Saigon while I was there. A friend of mine had a small apartment and I came up with a plan to rig up a banner across the street (the street that was undoubtedly the path for the rapist to his hotel)). I explained it to my friend who said "go for it" and I explained it to my girlfriend who lives in Saigon - she simply said "I wouldn't do that."
I got the message.
It's an extremely repressive government. I've been there a gazillion times.
This has been way too long in coming because...
Sen. KERRY / Vietnamese Communists killing off Christians in Central Highlands
GARDEN GROVE snub irks HANOI
Thanks for the ping!
LOVE is coming to Vietnam.
Signed:.."ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer
Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965
(Paramount Pictures website)
After the FALL...
there was a...
JOURNEY from the FALL:
Pictures of a vietnamese Re-Education Camp (Vietnam Human Rights Bill)
Thanks for the ping. And kudos to Congressman Chris Smith for doing what needs to be done in a timely manner.