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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid