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Propel Vietnam toward democracy

During a White House meeting this week with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang, President Obama has a golden opportunity to nudge Vietnam toward democracy.

The United States has repeatedly warned Vietnam that economic development and democracy must go hand in hand. Having brushed the warning off, the Vietnamese have seen their economy fall into a difficult situation. Concurrently, China–Vietnam relations are becoming bitter over the East Sea (as the Vietnamese call the South China Sea), even with utmost deference from Hanoi.

Vietnam's government cracks down on critics

The Vietnamese government is routinely jailing political dissidents and internet bloggers who question the Communist Party's policies

A Conversation with U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam David Shear

In June, The Asia Foundation hosted U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, David B. Shear, at its headquarters in San Francisco. In Asia editor Alma Freeman sat down with him to discuss expanding economic and diplomatic ties, negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, progress in human rights, and Vietnam’s lively but circumscribed social media landscape.

How has the U.S.-Vietnam relationship developed since its reestablishment in 1995?

Egyptian Human Rights Attorney Ragia Omran Selected for 30th Annual Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 2, 2013 – Ms. Ragia Omran, a leading Egyptian human rights lawyer and women’s rights activist, has been selected as the honoree for the 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, now in its 30th year. The award recognizes her extraordinary work, and initiates a partnership to support her efforts to advance the women’s rights, the rule of law, and democracy in Egypt through human rights legal advocacy.

David Cameron should call for release of prisoners of conscience in Viet Nam as top party official visits UK

23 January 2013

Prime Minister David Cameron should call on Viet Nam’s government to halt its crackdown on freedom of expression and release all prisoners of conscience, Amnesty International said on the first day of an official visit to the UK by Nguyen Phu Trong, the General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of Viet Nam.

At the Prime Minister’s invitation, Nguyen Phu Trong will visit the UK for two days. The visit marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Amnesty International Researcher on Viet Nam Rupert Abbott said:

Statement on the Conviction of 14 Redemptorist Bloggers in Nghe An Province

We are deeply troubled by reports that the Supreme People’s Court of Nghe An Province convicted 14 Catholic Redemptorist bloggers on charges related to their exercise of their rights to freedom of expression. These bloggers were convicted of “subversion of the administration” (Article 79) and sentenced to prison terms ranging from 3-13 years.

Press Freedom in Vietnam Fades from View

Former BBC Correspondent barred from conference

As Vietnam’s annual East Sea Conference gets underway this week, Bill Hayton, former BBC correspondent in Hanoi, who was invited to attend by the Foreign Ministry’s think tank to attend, has been banned from entry by the Ministry of Public Security.

For immediate release - Vietnam: Overturn Activist Bloggers Sentence

(New York, May 30, 2012) – Vietnamese authorities should void the conviction of blogger Ho Thi Bich Khuong, 44, and immediately free her, Human Rights Watch said today. The People’s Court of Nghe An is scheduled on May 30, 2012, to hear her appeal against her five-year sentence for violating article 88 of the penal code, which forbids “conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.”

Connolly and Moran Nominate Dr. Nguyen Dan Que for Nobel Peace Prize

Washington - Virginia Congressmen Gerry Connolly and Jim Moran announced today that they have written a letter to Dr. Thorbjørn Jagland, Chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, nominating Dr. Nguyen Dan Que of Vietnam for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

“For more than 30 years Dr. Que has tirelessly fought for human rights in Vietnam,” said Connolly. “His unwavering dedication to human rights, at extraordinary personal cost, exemplifies the ideals of the Nobel Peace Prize. It is my hope the international community will honor this heroic commitment to freedom and democracy.”

Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program

Named in honor of NED’s principal founders, former president Ronald Reagan and the late congressman Dante Fascell, the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program was established in 2001 with funding from the U.S. Congress to enable democratic practitioners, scholars, and journalists from around the world to deepen their understanding of democracy and enhance their ability to promote democratic change.

Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows maintain full-time residence at the International Forum
for Democratic Studies, NED’s research arm located in Washington, D.C. Dedicated to international exchange, the program offers a collegial environment for fellows to reflect on their experiences and consider lessons learned; conduct research and writing; develop contacts and exchange ideas with counterparts in Washington, D.C.; and build ties that contribute to the development of a global network of democracy advocates.

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