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Vietnam Prime Minister's American Visit Riles Community

Cali Today, Posted: Jun 20, 2008

In advance of the expected visit of Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, the bipartisan House Vietnam Caucus and several Vietnamese community leaders will hold a need to reform press conference to highlight human rights abuses in Vietnam.
We will continue to highlight these abuseswhich are ongoing todayin an attempt to offer encouragement, solidarity and hope to the victims and pressure the government to reform, said Vietnam Caucus Co-Chair, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ).
Rep. Smith is also the author of A Human Rights Act (HR 3096), which passed the House last September. It would prohibit increased U.S. non-humanitarian assistance to the Government of Vietnam unless there is verifiable evidence that the Vietnamese government has made substantial progress toward the release of its political and religious prisoners, respecting religious freedom, allowing free and open access to refugee programs, respecting the human rights of members of all ethnic minority groups, and taking appropriate steps to end trafficking in persons.
Smiths legislation authorizes $4 million for organizations and individuals that promote human rights in Vietnam. It also authorizes over $10 million to help stop the Vietnamese Governments jamming of Radio Free Asia, and requires the State Department to issue an annual report on the progress of human rights reform in Vietnam.
In the most recent Trafficking in Persons Report released by the State Department earlier this month, Vietnam is designated as a primary source for women and children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor.

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