September 11, 2012
Viet Tan applauds the US House of Representatives for passing two important bills today supporting human rights in Vietnam: House Resolution 484 and the Vietnam Human Rights Act.
House Resolution 484 calls on the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to respect basic human rights and cease abusing vague national security provisions such as articles 79 and 88 of the Vietnamese penal code which are often the pretext to arrest and detain citizens who peacefully advocate for religious and political freedom.
H. Res. 484 was introduced by Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez on the occasion of International Human Rights Day last year and received strong bipartisan support with 30 sponsors. H.Res 484 calls on the Government of Vietnam to release all political prisoners, including a specific list of democracy activists, writers, and bloggers who have been jailed under articles 79 and 88 of the Vietnamese penal code.
Vietnam Human Rights Act of 2011 (H.R. 1410) aims to promote freedom and democracy in Vietnam through conditioning increases in U.S. non-humanitarian assistance to the government of Vietnam to certifiable improvements in Hanoi’s human rights record. Led by Congressman Chris Smith, H.R. 1410 also provides US support to individuals and organizations promoting human rights in Vietnam. The Vietnam Human Rights Act now awaits passage by the Senate.
Taken together, these two bills demonstrate the strong support of the US Congress for democratic reform and human rights in Vietnam. At this historic moment when countless Vietnamese are openly expressing themselves online, peacefully demonstrating in the streets, and advocating for political change, American lawmakers are showing their solidarity with the people of Vietnam.
Contact: Duy Hoang +1.202.470.0845