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Endorsing reforms for freedom and democracy in Vietnam. HRES 807 IH

HRES 807 IH

109th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. RES. 807
Endorsing reforms for freedom and democracy in Vietnam.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 9, 2006

Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia (for himself, Ms. LORETTA SANCHEZ of California, and Ms. ZOE LOFGREN of California) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations

RESOLUTION

Endorsing reforms for freedom and democracy in Vietnam.

Whereas the United States has a long and honorable tradition of promoting freedom and human rights throughout the world;

Whereas in that spirit, on May 5, 1994, Congress passed, and subsequently the President signed into law, Senate Joint Resolution 168 on May 25, 1994, in which Vietnam was urged to--

(1) release immediately and unconditionally all political prisoners with full restoration of their civil and human rights;

(2) guarantee equal protection under the law to all Vietnamese, regardless of religious, political philosophy, or previous associations;

(3) restore all basic human rights, such as freedom of information, speech, religion, movement and association;

(4) abolish the single party system and permit the functioning of all political organizations without intimidation or harassment; and

(5) announce a framework and timetable for free and fair elections under the sponsorship of the United Nations that will allow the Vietnamese people to choose their own form of government according to their will;

Whereas well-respected spiritual leaders of the Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, Hoa Hao, Cao Dai, and other religions have legitimately and courageously demanded religious freedom and non-violently struggled for democracy and the protection of human rights in Vietnam;

Whereas because of systematic, egregious, and ongoing abuses of religious freedom, the Department of State designated Vietnam a country of particular concern.

Whereas the Government of Vietnam continues to persecute its citizens for the nonviolent practice of faith, free speech, free press, and democratic values, including continuous arrests, detention, and harassment of members of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, the Roman Catholic Church, the Protestant Church, the Hoa Hao Buddhist faith, the Cao Dai faith, and many other individuals who call for democracy and freedom in Vietnam;

Whereas to reach a more free and democratic state, the Government of Vietnam should, among other reforms--

(1) stop blocking all foreign broadcasts and allow the free flow of information into Vietnam;

(2) allow newspapers, radio, and television broadcasts to carry opinions even if critical of the Vietnamese Government;

(3) release all imprisoned religious leaders and political dissidents and allow the United Nations Committee on Arbitrary Detention to inspect the prison system in Vietnam;

(4) implement the United Nations principles on religious freedom and guarantee the equal treatment to all religions in Vietnam;

(5) dismantle Article Number 4 in the Vietnamese Constitution (which gives the Vietnamese Government supremacy over people) and abolish the Directive CP 31 (which allows imprisonment of dissidents up to two years without trial or judicial review);

(6) respect human and civil rights and return to the right to own property to the Vietnamese people;

(7) stop the intervention of the Communist Party at all levels of the government and end the Communist Party's control and manipulation of the National Assembly;

(8) let the National Assembly, when no longer under the control of the Communist party, help orchestrate the transition period and draw up new election laws which promote the multiparty system and allow everyone to freely participate in the general elections;

(9) have the government, when independent of the Communist Party, organize free and fair elections according to the new election laws and under international monitoring to choose a constitutional Assembly; and Whereas Dr. Nguyen Dan Que, a leading voice for freedom in Vietnam, issued his 9-point road map to democracy in March 2005 encompassing many of these reforms: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) endorses reforms for freedom and democracy in Vietnam, including those reforms advocated by Dr. Nguyen Dan Que's 9-point road map to democracy; and

(2) urges the Government of the United States to utilize such reforms in an effort to bring democracy and human rights to Vietnam in a peaceful manner.
END

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