Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Activists advocate for U.S. to pressure Viet Nam on human rights restrictions

In light of the ongoing political crackdown in Viet Nam, a group of Vietnamese-American activists on Tuesday urged President Bush to support democracy and human rights in Hanoi, The Associated Press reported the same day.

Bush met with four activists, including Diem Do, chairman of the Vietnam Reform Party, as a means of showing Washington’s disapproval with the ongoing crackdown by the Vietnamese government against pro-democracy activists. Among the six activists recently sentenced, three were associated with Cong Thanh Do, founding member of the People’s Democratic Party of Vietnam, who also attended the meeting.

“The United States has been concerned by the increasing incidence of arrest and detention of political activists in Vietnam for activities well within their right to peaceful expression of political thought,” National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said of the meeting.

In coordination with a resolution condemning the crackdown in Viet Nam, Rep. Earl Blumenauer expressed Congressional concern over the trend in Viet Nam. “I have been a consistent friend to Vietnam, but I cannot compromise my support for human rights,” Blumenauer said. “While I have always argued that we need to judge Vietnam on the progress it makes, it is clear to me that the Vietnamese government is headed in the wrong direction on democracy and human rights.”

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