These past few weeks have brought both joy and skepticism to the international community in regards to Vietnam’s human rights record. Though three activists have been released in Vietnam in recent weeks, many activists remain imprisoned. Amnesty International asserts that seventy Vietnamese remain jailed.
The recent releases are a call for both celebration and caution. The US must critically analyze these actions as it continues to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with Vietnam, as it is unclear what the Vietnamese government’s true intentions were through the release of these activists. Vietnam is ranked at the bottom of the list– 174 of 180 countries– on Reporters Without Borders’s 2014 World Press Freedom Index.
As TPP talks continue, more US citizens may now be becoming more aware of the human rights abuses in Vietnam. The city of Irvine, California, recently rejected a proposal to unite with a Vietnamese city as part of a cross-cultural friendship program. The LA Times reports that 600 people protested against the partnership, citing Vietnam’s unjust government as a reason for opposing the friendship.
World Press Freedom Day, this Saturday (May 3rd), aims to continue raising awareness about Vietnam’s repression of free speech. However, three Vietnamese bloggers have been stopped from travelling to the United States to speak as part of World Press Freedom Day activities.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has highlighted ten profiles of imprisoned activists in honor of World Press Freedom Day. Their list includes Dieu Cay, a blogger currently serving twelve years in prison, as well as journalists from all parts of the globe. CPJ has included a list of actions that supporters can take for Dieu Cay—
“1) Use the hashtags #FreeThePress and #FreeDieuCay.
3) Watch a video about Hai by his son.”
You can read the full article and take action for all of the bloggers, here– http://cpj.org/x/5a47
One of the many Vietnamese activists who remains in prison is Tran Huynh Duy Thuc. He is serving 16 years for his peaceful activities. Take action with Amnesty International on Thuc’s behalf.
Please also take action for Dieu Cay and the other activists featured by CPJ. Share the profiles of the journalists with your friends and on your social media sites. Engage with us in the conversation on World Press Freedom Day.
Help us to ensure that freedom of expression is a universal human right for all.
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