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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
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 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 Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
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.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid