March 15, 2008
At a hearing this past week of the U.S. Senate Sub-Committee on East Asian & Pacific Affairs, Dr. Ngai Nguyen, Vice Secretary of the Democratic Party of Vietnam, in a prepared Statement, praised Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator James Webb for holding this important hearing to examine U.S. – Vietnam Relations.
Dr. Ngai Nguyen, the Vice Secretary of the Democratic Party of Vietnam, pointed out that Vietnam had shown some improvement in their behavior toward human rights in 2006 when it was eager to receive favorable trade relations agreements with the United States, and membership in the World Trade Organization.
But once these benefits were granted, the government of Vietnam in 2007 reverted to an increase in arrests of dissidents, incarceration of religious leaders and restrictions on both political and religious freedoms.
One recent example surrounded the death on February 7, 2008, of Mr. Hoang Minh Chinh, the founder of the Democratic Party of Vietnam.
Dr. Nhan Nguyen, a prominent cardiac surgeon at Stanford University, and a member of the DPV, traveled to Hanoi to attend the funeral. However, one day prior to the funeral, she was kidnapped and deported from the country.
Another recent example was the fact that Trung Tien Nguyen, at age 24 and a half, more than six years older than most recruits, was drafted into the Vietnamese army last month. He had a job and was still going to graduate school, but was singled out because he was a young and active member of the DPV in Vietnam.
At the hearing, Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State, in response to a question from the Committee, stated “there is still only one authorized political party in Vietnam, the Communist Party.”
Dr. Nguyen also praised the release on March 11, 2008 of the Department of State’s Country Report on Human Rights Practices, 2007, which said, “The Vietnamese Government’s human rights record remains unsatisfactory.”
The primary mission of the Democratic Party of Vietnam is to persuade the Communist Party, through peaceful means, to recognize the freedoms of the UN Charter and to allow multi-political parties, freedom of press and religion and the right to produce private publications, and the opportunity to live in a free enterprise economy with free entry, exit and travel.