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

.- 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


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

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 27, 2015

Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30