Speech by Mr. Nguyen Thanh Trang 

Chairman of the Vietnam human rights network



Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Today, we gather here to observe the 56th anniversary of the United Nations’ Declaration of Universal Human Rights, and to honor the recipients of the 2004 Vietnam Human Rights Award, Dr. Nguyen Dan Que and Mr. Pham Que Duong.

Vietnam, as it stands today, remains a one-party State, ruled and controlled by the Communist Party.  The government has systematically deprived its citizens of the fundamental rights, such as: freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and freedom of association.

Known abuses and violations inflicted by Hanoi since 2001 include:

-          Jailing intellectuals, scientists, academics, journalists, religious leaders, and dissenting communists for sedition;

-          Forcibly closing over 400 Christian Churches in the Central Highlands and forcing Christians to renounce their faith;

-          Killing and injuring peaceful Montagnard protesters;

Since the creation of the Vietnam Human Rights Network seven years ago, we have received continuous support from countless U.S. lawmakers.  Today, on this occasion, on behalf of the Vietnam Human Rights Network, I would like to recognize two key supporters in our cause and present the Certificates of Appreciation to Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and Congressman Ed Royce for their hard work for Human Rights and Democracy in Vietnam. 

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez

In the 108th Congress, Rep. Sanchez has led an effort to establish the Congressional Vietnam Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives and she is a co-chair of this Caucus. This Caucus is dedicated to promoting awareness and policy debates among the U.S. Congress, the American public, and the international community about the urgent need for basis human rights in Vietnam.

She was co-author of several Resolutions in the House in promoting human rights for Vietnam. She was also one of the co-sponsors of the Vietnam Human Rights Act and was instrumental in assuring that it was overwhelmingly approved by the House.

Twice she traveled to Vietnam and visited political dissidents. Recently, on December 1, 2004, Vietnam denied her visa application to enter the country.


Congressman Ed Royce

Rep. Ed Royce authored the Freedom of Information in Vietnam Act that would boost Radio Free Asia’s broadcasts to Vietnam, and establish a pilot project to combat Internet jamming and censorship by the Vietnamese Government.

Last year Congressman Ed Royce also co-authored legislation to bring attention to the abysmal human rights record of Vietnam. It passed the House during action on the foreign Relations Authorization Act. The Vietnam Human Rights Act HR-1587 was introduced by Rep. Ed Royce in April 2003 and was included as an amendment to the larger foreign relations bill.


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