Lofgren leads bipartisan call for release of Vietnamese political prisoners

November 18, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) released a bipartisan letter today urging President Obama to convey serious concerns about the Vietnamese government's detention of human rights activists during the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit this week.

The letter, signed by thirteen Members of Congress, cites "over 140 prisoners of conscience currently being held by the Vietnamese government for peacefully expressing their political views," and new legislation under consideration by the Vietnam National Assembly that "significantly restricts the right to freely practice one's religion in Vietnam" as examples of the Vietnamese government's "disregard for the basic rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Vietnam is a Party."

The bipartisan Members of Congress call for President Obama to insist the Vietnamese government release all prisoners of conscience – including an attached list of 148 detainees –"immediately and unconditionally."

This follows an additional letter Lofgren sent last week to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the Vietnamese Government's beating of two lawyers and their subsequent detention – another example of the Government's abuse of power and denial of basic human rights.

The full letter is attached.

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