CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, September 11, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.Res. 484, a bill calling on the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to respect basic human rights, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority for approval. The bill was introduced on December 6, 2011, by Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
H.Res. 484 would condemn the crackdown by Vietnam on democracy activists, bloggers, and community organizers. The bill would also call on Vietnam to release political prisoners detained under vague national security laws, and to repeal those laws.
The bill would urge the State Department to monitor rule of law developments in Vietnam to promote Vietnam’s adherence to its international human rights commitments.
The bill’s sponsor made the following statement on the floor of the House on February 1, 2012: “Madam Speaker, we can see that Vietnam's communist government's escalation of crackdowns has targeted the voices of the conscience such as Paulus Le Son and many other Vietnamese patriots for exercising their rights of free speech and expression.
“Recently, I received disturbing reports that another youth activist and Vietnamese songwriter, Viet Khang Tri Minh Vo, was detained and imprisoned by the Vietnamese police and government. Viet Khang's songs question the conscience of the Vietnam police, who have brutally assaulted and arrested demonstrators at peaceful gatherings. It is time for the Government of Vietnam to respect the freedom of expression through the arts and stop these arbitrary arrests and recognize the basic human rights of the individual.
“I urge my colleagues to cosponsor House Resolution 484, calling on the Vietnamese Government to cease the abuse of vague national security provisions in the Vietnamese penal code, which are used to justify the detention and the abuse of their own citizens.”
There is no Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate for this legislation.