Tie^'ng Vie^.t

On the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On December 10, 1948, the United Nations promulgated The Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a preventive measure against the possible recurrence of terrors that happened during the two world wars, in response to the peace aspirations of the freedom loving people around the globe. The document was a significant landmark in the history of mankind. It includes 30 articles that cover all aspects of a human being's essential and universal rights, which must be entirely respected by all nations.

In 1966, it was followed by two detailed covenants: The Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and The Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which complete The International Bill of Human Rights. In 1976, after being ratified by a sufficient number of individual nations, it took on the force of international law that carries the highest enforcing power around the world.

Thanks to its presence, and the continuous sacrifice of numerous people from all walks of life, various levels of human rights have been enjoyed in many countries, and as a result, human rights movements have become more and more widespread.

As a member nation of the United Nations since 1977, Vietnam ratified and pledged to obey The International Bill of Human Rights in 1982. Yet, unfortunately, Vietnam is not among those beneficial nations since it has been ruthlessly governed by a one-party communist dictatorship that monopolizes the power to arrest, torture, detain and kill at will anyone suspected of opposing the state or the ruling party. All basic human rights are denied. The whole Vietnamese population of 70 millions are enslaved in poverty and ignorance, victims of all kinds of hardships and humiliation.

On the threshold of the third millennium, with a broad view of the world and an awareness of the plight of the fatherland, and following our ancestors' indomitableness, we Vietnamese everywhere should courageously stand up against the authoritarian leadership in Hanoi to regain our sacred human rights and dignity.

With international support for our human rights struggle, united and determined we will gain the needed strength to force Hanoi regime totally and unconditionally respect all human rights as set forth in The International Bill of Human Rights. Ha Noi must immediately:

  1. Set free all political and religious prisoners detained under various disguised legal offenses.
  2. Cease all types of suppression against dissidents of any kind.
  3. Abolish Article 4 of the Vietnam Constitution and other anti-human-rights laws.
  4. Begin the procedures for a free general election under international supervision.

Made in Little Saigon, December 10, 1998.

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