So much for the US refusing to work with countries who are guilty of some of the worst human rights violations in the world…
From Human Rights Watch: Vietnam’s human rights record remains dire in all key areas. A one-party communist state suppresses virtually all forms of political dissent, using a broad array of repressive measures. Freedom of expression, association and assembly are tightly controlled. The police routinely use torture and beatings to extract confessions and punish detainees. Religious minorities and activists are harassed, intimidated and imprisoned. The criminal justice system lacks independence and operates under the direction of the government and party. State-run drug rehabilitation centers exploit detainees as forced laborers making goods for local markets and export. Despite the pressure, increasing numbers of courageous bloggers and activists are vocal in calling for democracy and greater freedoms.
A coalition of 14 human rights groups strongly condemns the Feb. 2014 decision by an appeals court upholding a 30-month prison sentence for Vietnamese human rights lawyer and blogger Le Quoc Quan. Mr. Quan has been detained since December 2012.
The groups believe Mr. Quan’s detention is politically motivated and a reaction to his blog, where he frequently exposes human rights violations by the Vietnamese government. Mr. Quan is a victim of a coordinated government crackdown on bloggers, citizen journalists and pro-democracy activists.
Meanwhile…President Barack Obama met Tuesday with Vietnamese communist party leader Nguyễn Phú Trọng in the hopes of strengthening ties between the two nations.
“The President also welcomes the opportunity to discuss other issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, human rights, and bilateral defense cooperation,” the White House said in a statement.
The meeting came nearly four decades after the Vietnam War. Since that time, the two countries have made efforts to improve diplomatic relations. In just the past two years, Obama has met with Vietnam’s President Trương Tấn Sang and Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng.
“Like in any relations between two countries in the world, Vietnam and the U.S. have differences on a number of issues, such as perception on democracy, human rights and trade,” Trọng wrote, according to NPR. “To resolve differences, I believe the most effective way would be open and constructive dialogues.”
Via: Daily Caller