News / Asia

Vietnamese Religious Leaders Call on Hanoi to Respect Rights

Senior religious leaders of five major faiths in Vietnam have issued a joint statement calling on Hanoi to live up to President Truong Tan Sang’s recent pledge that his government fully respects human rights.

While meeting President Barack Obama in Washington last month, the Vietnamese president nopted that Hanoi and Washington have different views about human rights, but he said human rights are highly respected in Vietnam.

Leaders of the Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, Cao Dai and Hoa Hao faiths in Vietnam have rejected Sang’s version of events. In a statement issued Wednesday,  they listed a great number of ongoing human-rights abuses in Vietnam, affecting freedom of religion and expression and other basic human rights.

Pastor Nguyen Manh Hung of the Binh Tan Mennonite Church in Vietnam.Pastor Nguyen Manh Hung of the Binh Tan Mennonite Church in Vietnam.
x
Pastor Nguyen Manh Hung of the Binh Tan Mennonite Church in Vietnam.
Pastor Nguyen Manh Hung of the Binh Tan Mennonite Church in Vietnam.
Pastor Nguyen Manh Hung of the Binh Tan Mennonite Church in Vietnam said the statement covered a wide range of human rights issues.

"The statement asks Hanoi to put its words into action," the cleric said, "by releasing prisoners of conscience, by suspending Decree 72, which curbs freedom of speech and restricts information sharing on social media, and by allowing international observers into the country."

The religious leaders called on the Vietnamese people to speak up to assert their basic rights, and to protect those who risk their lives to defend human rights and promote democracy.

The government has not responded to or commented on the statement. Public declarations critical of the government are rare in Vietnam, which òften detains those who voice opposition to the communist government's policies.

Internet activists and human-rights groups criticized Hanoi last week over a new decree that attempts to ban social media users and bloggers from posting information, including news stories, online.

Decree 72, which was approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in July, states that blogs and social media sites in Vietnam should only be used to share or exchange personal information.

The law, which goes into effect September 1, says such sites are "not allowed to quote, gather or summarize information from press organizations or government websites."

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Hai Be from: SG
August 08, 2013 12:03 AM
Through your post, I just see one of the so-call "senior religious leaders of five major faiths in Vietnam" is pastor of Mennonite Church. So is there something missing here?

Pls review your writing carefully before posting here. Thanks!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More