Washington D.C., Jul 11, 2012 / 23:07 pm
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) has called for the firing of U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam David Shear, charging that he has marginalized human rights and religious freedom concerns.
"Sadly, his sidelining of serious human rights issues in Vietnam is symptomatic of this administration's overall approach to human rights and religious freedom," the congressman said in a July 9 letter to President Barack Obama. "Time and again these issues are put on the back-burner -- to the detriment of freedom-loving people the world over."
Rep. Wolf said that U.S. embassies should be "islands of freedom – especially in repressive countries like Vietnam," but he criticized the U.S. embassy in Vietnam for appearing to not play this role.
Rep. Wolf, who co-chairs the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, cited embassy inaction in the case of Vietnamese-American democracy activist and U.S. citizen Dr. Nguyen Quoc Quan, who was imprisoned after he was detained upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City this past April.