GARDE GROVE, CA –
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-46), Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam,today issued a strong statement in support of human rights and democracy in Vinh, Vietnam. Rep. Sanchez also condemned the Vietnamese authority’s sentencing of fourteen human rights defenders: Ho Duc Hoa, Dang Xuan Dieu, Paulus Le Son, Nguyen Van Duyet, Nguyen Van Oai, Ho Van Oanh, Nguyen Dinh Cuong, Nguyen Xuan Anh, Thai Van Dung, Tran Minh Nhat, Nong Hung Anh, Nguyen Dang Vinh Phuc, Nguyen Dang Minh Man and Dang Ngoc Minh.
“For the past two days, the Vietnamese Communist authorities have put 14 human rights defenders on trial, where they were charged of subversion and trying to overthrow the government. In reality, they were only strong advocates for social justice and they peacefully demonstrated against Chinese territorial aggression. The final product of an unjust criminal justice system in this subversion case was a verdict of 100 years imprisonment forced upon 14 patriots.
“Perhaps we should not be surprised by the outcome, but we should be outraged! Because if you look at these 14 human rights defenders, most of them are in their 20’s and early 30’s, they are sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, loyal friends, faithful and all responsible members of the society - they fought for what they thought were right for their country.
“The situation in Vietnam is a challenge to the conscience of the world. It has drawn international outrage as an emblem of the Vietnamese authority's intolerance of dissent. It is clear that the Vietnamese government did not take our policies and recommendations seriously. This is the reason why the United States must take serious action against the Government of Vietnam for their continuous human rights violations.
“Freedom and democracy only have meaning if we’re willing to put those principles into action, and I will continue to call on my colleagues to urge President Obama’s Administration to take a stand against the abuses taking place in Vietnam and elsewhere.”
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is proud to represent California’s 46th Congressional District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Santa Ana, and parts of the cities of Garden Grove and Orange in Orange County. She serves as Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces and the second ranked Democrat on the Committee on Homeland Security. Rep. Sanchez is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and sits on the bipartisan, bicameral Joint Economic Committee.