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Odds Worsen for TPP Trade Deal

The 2016 presidential campaign has dealt a potentially lethal blow to President Barack Obama’s signature Pacific trade agreement, with the chances of congressional passage now looking slim either after the election or under the next administration.

Business leaders and trade advocates just weeks ago remained optimistic that Congress would salvage the Trans-Pacific Partnership in a post-election lame duck session, despite both parties backing presidential candidates who said they would spurn it.

Lessons Learned in Mass Fish Deaths, Vietnam Premier Says

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Tuesday that the Southeast Asian country had learned “serious lessons” from the recent mass fish kills in four coastal provinces — an environmental disaster that sparked rare protests nationwide.

Phuc addressed parliament after being re-elected to head the government.

Vietnam: Series of attacks on political activists, human rights defenders and their relatives must be investigated

Three recent attacks on people who have been deliberately knocked off their motorbikes appear to be part of a wider series of attacks against political activists, human rights defenders and their relatives. Amnesty International urges the Viet Nam authorities to immediately and impartially investigate these incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Living In A Dark Tunnel — Torture And Other Ill-Treatment Of Vietnamese Prisoners Of Conscience

“Life in prison is hard. I fell into despair. I was in this situation because I was trying to be a good citizen, to help people out according to the law [...] But I was arrested and put in prison. I felt like I was in a dark tunnel with no way out.”

These are the words of Phạm Thị Lộc, a human rights defender from Bắc Giang province in the north of Viet Nam, working on land rights.

Inside Viet Nam's secretive and torturous world of 'prisons within prisons'

A new report published by Amnesty International today casts a rare light on the torture and other harrowing treatment of prisoners of conscience locked up in Viet Nam’s secretive network of prisons and detention centres.

Prisons within Prisons: Torture and ill-treatment of prisoners of conscience in Viet Nam details the ordeals endured by prisoners of conscience in one of the most closed countries in Asia, including prolonged periods of incommunicado detention and solitary confinement, enforced disappearances, the denial of medical treatment, and punitive prison transfers.

Human Rights in Vietnam after Obama's Visit

President Barack Obama's three day visit left a lasting and significant impact on the future of Vietnam. On the very first day of diplomatic engagements, the US President announced the lift on the sale of lethal weapons to Vietnam which had been in place for more than five decades, removing the last barrier in the normalisation process of bilateral relations between the two countries. Contrary to some news report from Vietnam, request to purchase US weapons would still be considered on a case by case basis and subject to conditions including human rights.

Vietnamese Activist Father Ly Released

Washington, D.C. – Freedom Now is pleased to announce the release of democracy activist Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly from prison after nine years of wrongful imprisonment. Father Ly was serving an eight year sentence related to his affiliation with Bloc 8406, a pro-democracy organization. He was granted special amnesty by the president and released a few days before President Obama’s historic visit to Vietnam. Although Father Ly was released from prison he is still serving a five year sentence of house arrest.

Moving on in Vietnam, but Remembering Its Lessons

As President Obama visits Vietnam, we are struck by the fact that most citizens of both countries have no living memory of a conflict that claimed the lives of more than 58,000 Americans and upward of a million Vietnamese.

As Americans who fought in that war, we are frequently asked about its lessons. There are few easy answers, in part because every conflict is unique and because we have learned that attempts to apply past lessons to new crises sometimes do more harm than good. But a few things are clear.

Letter to President on Dead Fish & Visiting Prisoners of Conscience

May 19, 2016

President Barack Obama The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

We write to bring pressing issues regarding health, environmental, and human rights concerns for your upcoming trip to Vietnam to your attention. We understand that you have received
numerous messages, including letters from several of us, making requests of you for this trip. We hope you will give the important matters in this letter the same attention and consideration as you have given those requests.


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