Statement on US -Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement

Vietnam Human Rights Network
4745 El Cajon Blvd., Suite 104, San Diego, CA 92115
Tel. (619) 284-5111; Fax (619)284-5115; Email:

For immediate release                 Date: May 8, 1999
Contact: Hieu Van Ngo
Tel. (310)848-4085

The Vietnam Human Rights Network, at a special membership meeting on April 25, 1999, in Westminster, California, to discuss the US-Vietnam bilateral trade negotiation, hereby proclaims:

  1. The Government of Vietnam (GVN) is still imprisoning without acceptable justification hundreds of religious and political prisoners, such as Prof. Nguyen Dinh Huy, journalist Nguyen Ngoc Tan, Catholic priests Rev. Mai Duc Chuong and Rev. Pham Minh Tri, United Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UCBV) monks Ven. Thich Thien Minh and Ven. Thich Hue Quang, and Hoa Hao Buddhist leader Mr. Le Van Son.

  2. The GVN has recently tightened its grips further on religious and political dissidents, evidenced by the arrest and imprisonment of Dr. Nguyen Thanh Giang, a well-known political dissident in Hanoi, and by direct threats to other Hanoi dissidents such as Mssr. Hoang Minh Chinh, Hoang Tien, Vu Huy Cuong, Nguyen Kien Giang, and Hoang Huu Nhan.

  3. Ven. Thich Quang Do, 72, Secretary General of UBCV, who was recently released from prison, has cautioned international reliefs organizations against sending unconditional aids to Vietnam as they only reinforce the oppressive communist regime. Ven. TQ Do was sentenced to 5 years for sending aid reliefs to flood victims in 1994.

  4. Repetitive complaints against the Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) for its gross abuses of international humanitarian aids, such as those for the victims of Typhoon Linda, have been reported. The VCP has been proved to be mainly concerned with enriching its central and local government officials, at the expense of those unfortunate victims.

  5. The VCP and its party-controlled government actually own and control almost all national economic resources and activities. The unavoidable consequences are rampant corruption and theft at all levels of management, causing irreparable damage to the entire country.

  6. The VCP has been demonstrated to have even abused the resources generated by foreign trades to further oppress and manipulate the general population. And the truth is it always tries to conceal any case of corruption, if it can, to save its broken prestige.

  7. The VCP, despite the influx of foreign investments and economic aids, has made very little effort to reform either its inefficient government system, or its oppressive political system. Its uncontrollable high and complexed taxation coupled with blatant abuses of power and corruption have created deep resentment and some type of economic indifference among the population, resulting in the lack of growth in most areas of the national economy.

We therefore urge that a strong and effective international economic sanction be imposed on the communist government of Vietnam to pressure it to carry out much needed reforms.

We also urge that all concerned individuals and organizations, in the same spirit, vigorously oppose the US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement, in order for the VCP to speed up the purification of its abusive and exploitative socio-political system.

We finally urge everyone to request his or her US Senators and Representatives to vote against the waiver of the Jackson-Vanik law for Vietnam, and to block any trade agreements with it until it meets the following conditions:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally release all religious and political prisoners and dissidents without confinement, harassment and surveillance;

  2. Immediately grant freedoms of religion, expression (speech, press, Internet), congregation, movement, and all political and economic activities;

  3. Immediately amend its present constitution to allow all individuals and political parties to participate openly in all activities, and to compete equally in all popular elections for government offices.

Vietnam Human Rights Network
4745 El Cajon Blvd., Suite 104, San Diego, CA 92115
Tel. (619) 284-5111; Fax (619)284-5115; Email:

Summary of Events Related to Human Rights in Vietnam - Since January 1, 1999

Back to top