Meeting of US. Congresswomen and Family Members of Vietnam Political and Religious Prisoners in Hanoi, Vietnam

Vietnam March 31st, 2015- The 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union is taking place between the 28th through 31st of March, 2015 in Hanoi. During this event, the Women for Human Rights in Vietnam (WFHR) and the Vietnamese Political and Religious Prisoners Friendship Association (VPRPFA), cooperatively arranged a meeting between the US. elected officials and family members of political and religious prisoners, who are currently imprisoned by the Vietnamese communist government.

11082601_1589399001273001_5634745790622494241_nFigure 1- Family members of Vietnamese political and religious prisoners are meeting with US Congresswomen Nancy Pelosi and Zoe Lofgren.

The meeting took place at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi at seven o’clock on the morning of March 31st, 2015. Attorney Nguyen Van Dai and Mr. Nguyen Bac Truyen could not attend this event because both have been under “unofficial” house-arrests around the clock by secret security agents for the entire duration of this three-day conference. At this forum, Ms. Dang Quynh Anh, the daughter of political prisoner Mrs. Bui Thi Minh Hang, had the opportunity the talk about the suppression and imprisonment of her mother.

Mr. Vo Van Buu, the husband of religious prisoner Mai Thi Dung also discussed the eleven-year sentence handed down by the Vietnamese government authority. Mrs. Mai Thi Dung, a Hoa Hao Buddhist worshiper, has spent almost ten years in prison and suffered through numerous rounds of persecution and inhumane tortures. In addition, ethnic Hmongs from Cao Bang province also raised concerns about the communist state’s religious freedom violations toward Hmong members following the guidance of Duong Van Minh. Mr. Duong Van Minh had been sentenced to five years of imprisonment for his religious activities.

Representing the delegates from the United States of America were Minority Leader of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, who represents the 19th district in the San Jose area, California with a large population of Vietnamese residence. The two congresswomen listened to family members of the political and religious prisoners through interpreters. The meeting ended after an hour. Before the meeting, files of the human rights violations by the communist government of Vietnam along with petitions and recommendations to the Congress of the United States of America on policies toward Vietnam had been handed to the two veteran members of the US Congress.

During a meeting with her Vietnamese counterpart, Chairman of Vietnamese Congress Nguyen Sinh Hung, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren handed him a list of political and religious prisoners currently in detention, including Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, Viet Khang, Tran Vu Anh Binh, Dinh Nguyen Kha, Ta Phong Tan, Bui Thi Minh Hang, Ho Thi Bich Khuong, Father Nguyen Van Ly,…ect, and bloggers who had been detained and harassed such as Nguyen Quang Lap.

Women For Human Rights in Vietnam
Lanney Tran, Chairwoman.
L.tran@wfhrvn.org
Questions regarding this report, please call: (408) 386-3390

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