November 18, 2013
To: The Honorable Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations,
The Honorable Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,
The Honorable Remigiusz Achilles Henczel, President of the Human Rights Council, Seventh Cycle (2013) and all Members of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC)
The Honorable Robert Menendez, Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
The Honorable Royce Applauds, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
The Honorable John Kerry, US Secretary of State.
Subject: An Urgent Request for Help to Free the Prisoners of Conscience in Communist Vietnam.
For sixty years since the Vietnamese Communists took power in North Vietnam, and thirty eight years since their occupation of South Vietnam, they have established a cruel totalitarian to tightly control all aspects of life of the Vietnamese people.
Today, thanks to the development of the internet, social media, and the trend of globalization, the Vietnamese people have become aware of their civil and human rights. Many individuals, civil organizations, youths, students, religious leaders have begun to speak out loud for their rights.
In dealing with the increasing people’s movements, the Vietnamese Communists have carried out terror campaigns to oppress the people. They arrested and jailed hundreds of people without court orders, or created kangaroo trials accusing them the crimes they had never committed.
Once in prisons, the Public Security agents (so-called Cong An) used any possible barbarous means to torture the dissidents in order to subdue them mentally and physically.
For the above reasons,
We, the Vietnamese American Community of the U.S.A. strongly condemn the Vietnamese Communist Government for their use of violent policy against their own people, and request the United Nation, all NGO’s, the U.S. Congress, and all International Communities to urge the Communist Vietnam to:
1. – Immediately stop arresting, harassing, torturing their citizens who commit no crimes but struggle for their human rights.
2. – Unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience who have expressed their patriotism in protesting against Chinese expansion policy.
3. – Stop imposing restrictions on freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association.
4. – Fully comply to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other International Laws on Human Rights and Civil Rights that Communist Vietnam has adopted.
Thank you for your concern and consideration.
Yours, very truly
The Vietnamese Americans Community of the USA
• Mr. Tien Ngoc Nguyen, Chairman of the Board of Representatives
• Ms. Thu Lan Huynh, Chairwoman of the Executive Board
• Mr. Tan Van Nguyen, Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
Attachment: List of Prisoners of Conscience in Vietnam.
Mailed by Mr. Michael P. Do, Secretary General of the Board of Representatives from Texas, USA4. ‘Human Rights Abusers’ Elected to UN Rights Panel
China, Russia, and Vietnam all received more votes than France or Britain for membership on the United Nations Human Rights Council — and Cuba got the most votes among Latin American countries.
“This is a black day for human rights,” declared Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights group, following the vote on Tuesday.
“Despite the much-vaunted 2006 reform, which scrapped the discredited Human Rights Commission and created a new and supposedly improved council, today’s election of the world’s worst human rights abusers means that we are back to square one. Instead of reform, we have regression.”
The HRC is supposedly “responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations,” according to the U.N.
But the election of China to the council “calls into question the council’s credibility,” said Britain’s Edward McMillan-Scott, a vice president of the European Council, in comments reported by CNS News.
“Numerous reports by the U.N. itself have highlighted degrading and inhumane treatment that is routine in China: forcible abortions, religious persecution, the oppression of minorities, etc.”
Of the 14 countries elected to a three-year term on the 47-member group this year, six are designated as “not free” by Freedom Watch, a Washington-based watchdog organization that grades nations according to their record on political rights and civil liberties: Saudi Arabia and Algeria in addition to China, Russia, Vietnam, and Cuba.
A simple majority of the General Assembly’s 193 members is required to win a seat, but election is limited to a set number of members from each of five regions.
Two seats on the council were available for Latin American nations. In secret balloting, Cuba got 148 votes, more than two democracies: Mexico (135) and Uruguay (93).
Vietnam got 184 votes and China and Russia each received 176, while France got 174 and Britain 171.
Next year’s council will have 24 “free,” 12 “partly free,” and 11 “not free” member nations.
During negotiations in 2005-6 to set up the new council, the United States proposed that countries subjected to U.N. Security Council sanctions for human rights abuses or terrorism should be barred from membership. The proposal was defeated.
“The prospect of rights-violating regimes joining the HRC — and then using it to protect each other — was a major reason for the decision by the Bush administration to shun the council, a decision reversed by its successor in 2009,” CNS News reported.
After Tuesday’s vote, the State Department expressed “regret that some countries elected to the Human Rights Council have failed to show their commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights.”
In July 2013, envoys from both Syria and Iran announced that they would attempt to run for an HRC seat in 2014.