Vietnamese organizations sent an open letter to President Biden on his upcoming trip to Vietnam.

… the signatories ask that President Biden addresses Vietnam’s human rights situation, especially the plight of those detained for their religious, human rights and democracy advocacy.”

— Letter signatories

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, August 28, 2023/ — On August 25, 2023, 37 Vietnamese organizations signed an open letter to President Biden regarding his upcoming trip to Vietnam. The open letter has four recommendations.

“First, the organizations believe that a successful US-Vietnam partnership requires accountability and mutual benefits. There are widespread reports of serious violations of human rights by the Vietnamese authorities. The letter emphasizes that an agreement to assist Vietnam’s efforts in semiconductor and artificial intelligence is a mistake. It alleges that AI, in the hands of an unchecked totalitarian system, is a tool for control and censorship. According to the open letter, any export of semiconductor technology to Vietnam is possibly destined to China to evade the ban on Chinese chip procurement.

Second, the letter recommends that the United States publicizes and enforces the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act in its dealings with the Vietnamese authorities. This legislation, a bipartisan bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law in December 2012, permanently authorizes the President to impose visa- and property-blocking sanctions based on violations of human rights.

Third, the organizations caution the United States against implicitly recognizing Vietnam’s elections as free and fair. According to the signatories, elections in this communist country are not meeting international standards. The issue of free and fair elections is a matter of great importance to the Vietnamese people, in Vietnam and the US. A recent publication of a Free and Fair Election Scorecard gave Vietnam a low score of 27 out of 100 possible points, based on criteria by the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Vietnam, a one-party state, is consistently categorized as “not free” and “authoritarian” by many international organizations and governments. The Vietnamese organizations recommend that the US promotes verifiable free and fair elections in Vietnam as a partner in its free and open Indo-Pacific initiative.

Fourth, the signatories ask that President Biden addresses Vietnam’s human rights situation, especially the plight of those detained for their religious, human rights and democracy advocacy. Specifically, they recommend that the US voices its support for freedom of expression and independent labor unions in Vietnam, as conditions for diplomatic upgrade of bilateral relationship.”

The 37 signatory organizations are representatives of religious, community, political and civil societies. They include the following:

Advocates for Faith and Justice in Vietnam (AFJV)
Alliance for Democracy in Vietnam
Alliance for Vietnam’s Democracy
Assembly for Democracy in VietNam
Antelope Valley Vietnamese Association
Bloc 8406 International
Buddhist Church of America
Dai Viet Nationalist Party
Federation Of Vietnamese American Communities of U.S.A
Florida Việt Báo Newspaper
Free Vietnam Global Network
Interfaith Council of Vietnam, Overseas Office
Institut d’histoire de Cao Dai
Minh Van Foundation
National Organization of Vietnamese American Leaders (NOVAL)
One Bread
Republic of Vietnam Next Generations
Thang Nghia Society
The Greater Philadelphia Vietnamese American Community
The Greater Philadelphia Vietnamese Community Association
The Vietnamese Association of Jacksonville, Florida
United Council of Vietnamese Homeland and Overseas
United Vietnamese American Community of Pennsylvania
Vietnamese American Community of Central Virginia
Vietnamese American Science & Technology Society
Vietnamese Community of Florida
Vietnamese Community of Oregon
Vietnamese Community of Pomona Valley, CA
Viet 2000 Foundation
Vietnamese American Community of the USA
Vietnamese Americans for Human Rights
Vietnam Helsinki HR Committee
Vietnam Human Rights Day May 11 Organization
Vietnam Human Rights Network
Vietnam Democracy Center
Vietnamese Environmental Protection Society
Vietnamese Nationalist Party

David Tran
Alliance for Vietnam’s Democracy
email us here

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