ATTENTION: UK-ĐẤU TRANH Will Be Permanently Retired on December 30th, 2017.

Monday, 6 October 2014

The Honorable John Kerry : INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM R O U N D T A B L E Washington, D.C.

                                               INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
                                                                   R O U N D T A B L E
                                                                        Washington, D.C.
                                                                          October 1, 2014

The Honorable John Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20250

Dear Secretary Kerry,
It has been reported that Vietnam's Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh will soon start his official visit
of the United States to discuss what has been described as a "comprehensive partnership" with our
government. We are writing to urge that you take this opportunity to impress on the Vietnamese
government that further expansion of its relationship with the United States is contingent on
substantial improvements in human rights practices.The Vietnamese government continues to hold hundreds of political prisoners and other prisoners of conscience. While a handful of these prisoners were released in recent months, about the same number of new prisoners of conscience have been imprisoned over the same period. Releasing allpolitical prisoners and other prisoners of conscience in the coming months is the best way for theVietnamese government to demonstrate that it is serious about meeting our expectations on humanrights and acts in good faith.

We are particularly concerned about the ongoing campaign against independent religious
communities. In late July the UN Special Rapporteuron freedom of religion and belief concluded his
11-day mission to Vietnam with a press statement stating that "serious violations of freedom of
religion or belief are a reality in Viet Nam - in particular, but not only, in rural areas." He assert
edthat "[u]nder the current situation, [the independent religious communities'] possibilities to operate
as independent communities are extremely unsafe andrestricted." His observation corroborates our
longstanding position that the Ordinance on Religion and Belief and its accompanying Decree 92
impermissibly impose government control over religion and restrict religious activities. These
instruments should be repealed or fundamentally revised so that all religious communities may
freely practice their respective faiths without government interference.Equally important is the elimination of laws and decrees that authorize the government to arrest,detain, and/or imprison, among others, dissidents,members of independent religious organizations,labor organizers, bloggers, and journalists. Vietnam's National Assembly, when it convenes this November, should repeal or otherwise eliminate Decree 72 on controlling the use of the Internet,Decree 92 on restricting religious activities, and Penal Code articles such as Article 88 on prohibiting"propaganda against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam," Article 258 on "taking advantage of the right to democratic freedoms in order to violate the interests of the State," and Article 79 that prohibits dissidents from organizing themselves to compete politically with theVietnamese Communist Party.


Finally, Vietnamese workers continue to be denied even the most basic labor rights, including the
right to found or join free and independent labor unions. Without the right to form their own labor
unions and the right to collective bargaining, Vietnamese workers will continue to face
mistreatment, exploitation, and denial of basic benefits. This issue has been brought up time and
again by members of Congress, U.S. labor organizations, and international e rights organizations in
the context of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. Nevertheless, the Vietnamese government
seems determined to continue denying these fundamental rights of its citizens and continues to
imprison labor organizers.Our government must reiterate the U.S. position tha
t human rights are the central focus of our relationship with Vietnam, not just one of its many
aspects. Human rights should be a cornerstone of any comprehensive partnership that Vietnam hopes to develop with the United States, particularly when it comes to the sale of lethal weapons, the nu
clear cooperation agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Thank you for your consideration of these important requests.

Sincerely,




ORGANIZATIONS
ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM FOR VIETNAM
ASSOCIATION OF CON DAU PARISHIONERS
AMERICAN HUMANIST ASSOCIATION
BOAT PEOPLE SOS
CAMPAIGN TO ABOLISH TORTURE IN VIETNAM
CENTER FOR INQUIRY
CHRISTIAN SOLIDARITY WORLDWIDE – UNITED KINGDOM
COALITION FOR A FREE AND DEMOCRATIC VIETNAM
COMMITTEE FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN VIETNAM
HUMAN RIGHTS LAW FOUNDATION
INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCERN
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
JUBILEE CAMPAIGN
RUSSIAN ORTHODOX AUTONOMOUS CHURCH OF AMERICA

Individuals
Jeff King
President
International Christian Concern
Greg Mitchell
President
The Mitchell Firm


https://democraticvoicevn.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/irf-letter-to-kerry-on-vietnam-01-oct-2014.pdf

0 comments:

Post a Comment

 
Web Statistics