Loading
Hearing highlights human rights abuses in Vietnam
By Michelle Bauman
Rep. Chris Smith and Rep. Ed Royce (far right) at the Jan. 24, 2012 subcommittee hearing on human rights abuses in Vietnam
Rep. Chris Smith and Rep. Ed Royce (far right) at the Jan. 24, 2012 subcommittee hearing on human rights abuses in Vietnam

.- Witnesses at a Jan. 24 House subcommittee hearing on human rights abuses in Vietnam urged the U.S. government to intervene on behalf of those who are oppressed in other countries.

Former U.S. congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao testified that the repression of minorities in Vietnam is growing worse.

The country “has no intention of keeping the promise that it made to the U.S. congress in 2006” to improve its human rights record, he said.

Cao was one of the witnesses at the Tuesday afternoon hearing, which focused on the suppression of ethnic and religious minorities in Vietnam, as well as human trafficking that involves both labor and sexual abuse. 

The former congressman described how Vietnamese authorities exert pressure on religious groups to make them submit to government control. Those who do not “are often harassed, arrested, imprisoned, or put under house arrest.”

Cao recounted for those present how the land and facilities of Thai Ha Catholic parish in Hanoi were seized by the government.

He also testified that Catholic priests and the leaders of other minority religious groups are threatened and sometimes subject to violence.

“Faced with these atrocities, the Obama administration’s approach is to stand by and watch,” Cao charged.

Human trafficking victim Phuong-Anh Vu, another witness, described her experience as both a Catholic and a Hmong, a minority ethnic group in Vietnam.
 
She related how she was deceived into participating in a labor export program, in which she was taken to Jordan and forced to work long hours in poor conditions for one dollar per day.

Vu said that she and her companions were physically abused by both security guards and local police, with the knowledge and support of a delegation from the Vietnamese government.

Several other witnesses called on the U.S. government to address the human rights violations in Vietnam, noting that the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has urged the State Department to add the country to its list of “countries of particular concern.”

This status indicates that a nation’s government has “engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom” and opens the door to economic sanctions or other U.S. penalties.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), chairman of the House of Representative’s foreign affairs subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights, encouraged the U.S. to act swiftly to “exert pressure on the government to cease these abuses.”

Last year the congressman introduced the Vietnam Human Rights Act, a bill that would prohibit an increase in non-humanitarian assistance to Vietnam unless the country meets certain requirements in respecting human rights, including religious freedom and the rights of minorities.

He called on the U.S. government to adopt his legislation and take other measures to end the Vietnamese violation of a “broad array of human rights.”


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
18

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Gospel
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Homily
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: