When President Obama travels to Viet Nam this month, he must call for the immediate and unconditional release of over 80 prisoners of conscience imprisoned for their peaceful political activities, urged Amnesty International in advance of the visit.
“While president Obama aggressively promotes trade with Viet Nam, he must also give equal weight to the suffering of Vietnamese people by raising human rights issues. Especially concerning the release of over 80 prisoners of conscience,” said T. Kumar, advocacy director for Asia for Amnesty International USA.
“The United States must stress that the oppression of free expression and the jailing of prisoners of conscience in Viet Nam should stop. Failure to do so will send a wrong message that the U.S. does not care about these prisoners, and could encourage Vietnamese authorities to continue their crackdown on peaceful dissent.”
Among the prisoners of conscience in Viet Nam is Tran Thi Thuy, a land rights activist who was imprisoned in 2010 for eight years after being charged with “activities aimed at overthrowing” the state. She has been suffering from a tumor on her uterus since 2015, and cannot walk without assistance. Amnesty International is calling for her release and for medical care to be provided to all who remain detained.