News / Asia

Protesters Greet Vietnamese President at White House

Protesters rally against human right abuses in Vietnam during President Truong Tan Sang's visit to the White House, in Washington, D.C., July 25, 2013.
Protesters rally against human right abuses in Vietnam during President Truong Tan Sang's visit to the White House, in Washington, D.C., July 25, 2013.
While President Barack Obama welcomed Vietnam’s President Truong Tan Sang to the White House Thursday, hundreds of people gathered across the street to protest Vietnam’s human rights record.

Taking part were Vietnamese from across the United States, Canada and Australia.  They called on Obama to press Hanoi to improve its human rights record, and backed this up with a petition signed by thousands of people from across the world.

Obama said he had a "very candid" conversation during the White House meeting -- saying all nations should respect freedoms of speech, religion and assembly.  His Vietnamese counterpart said Washington and Hanoi still have differences over human rights.
 
Protesters highlight what they call Vietnam's poor human rights record during a rally near the White House in Washington, D.C, July 25, 2013.Protesters highlight what they call Vietnam's poor human rights record during a rally near the White House in Washington, D.C, July 25, 2013.
x
Protesters highlight what they call Vietnam's poor human rights record during a rally near the White House in Washington, D.C, July 25, 2013.
Protesters highlight what they call Vietnam's poor human rights record during a rally near the White House in Washington, D.C, July 25, 2013.
The protesters were united in their opinions on the issue.

“I am here in solidarity with democracy activists who are imprisoned right now in Vietnam,” said protester Hoang Tu Duy. “Six years ago, I was here, at the protest against then-Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet. We in the Vietnamese community here in the States, and elsewhere, we do not accept the Vietnamese Communist regime, and anywhere there is a Vietnamese communist leader, we will be present to protest.”

“Human rights [are] a human basic need,” said Pham van Dam of Boston. “We Vietnamese are human beings, and demand that human rights be respected. [Our Vietnam today, especially] the communist leaders in Vietnam do not respect freedom and democratic rights of the people, that is why we are here to protest by joining the gathering today, to voice our concerns. We are standing in front of the White House right now, with about a thousand of our compatriots from everywhere. We come here not to have fun, but to voice our unity. We are all looking in the same direction.”

In addition to the petition, there were letters from the families of prisoners of conscience inside Vietnam -- including bloggers, lawyers and Catholic activists -- urging an end to human rights violations there.

Hong Thuan, carrying a Free Le Quoc Quan poster at the protest Thursday, said, “As you know, Le Quoc Quan is an activist, a lawyer for human rights in Vietnam. He is in jail now. Having known him, and as a friend of his, on the occasion of the Vietnamese president ‘s visit to Washington, I would like to bring up his case to the attention of the international media, as well as the Vietnamese community.”

Advocacy groups like Reporters Without Borders and Human Rights Watch have also urged Vietnam to free prisoners of conscience.

This report originally appeared on VOA Vietnamese. 

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Hanoi Girl from: Vietnam
July 25, 2013 11:41 PM
I can see the protesters carrying the flag of the past regime in the South of Vietnam, which was among the most brutal ones backed by the United States. So what they want is the returning of their power, not democracy in Vietnam.
You should look ahead to the future because behind you were crimes made by yourselves which millions of Vietnamese have so far not forgotten.

In Response

by: Future of Vietnam from: USA
July 27, 2013 6:45 PM
Both side need to work together for the benefit of Vietnamese people inside the country and abroad. What past is past...this is 21st century and all need to work together and move forward to ensure Vietnam is strong, economically self-efficient, and well recognized sovereign country with respect and protected by international communities. Speaking of the flag of both past and current regime, Vietnam needs a new flag that represents both regimes so called "reconcile flag" like past regime flag with one big star in the middle of it.

In Response

by: Vinamese from: Las Vegas
July 26, 2013 6:47 PM
agreed 100%

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid