U.S. CONGRESSMANALAN LOWENTHALServing California's 47th District

Press Releases

Home » NewsroomPress Releases

Congressman Lowenthal and Vietnam Caucus Call On Secretary Tillerson To Push Vietnamese Government On Human Rights Abuses

f t # e
Washington, D.C., March 1, 2017 | comments

Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today joined with other members of the Congressional Vietnam Caucus in calling on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to push the government of Vietnam to respect the rights of its own citizens by allowing for religious freedom, freedom of the press, and free speech and assembly.

The request comes in a letter to Secretary Tillerson written by Congressman Lowenthal, a co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam, and signed by caucus co-chairs Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04) and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA-19).  Vietnam Caucus members Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17), Rep. Lou Correa (CA-46), and Rep. Gerry Connolly (VA-11) were also signatories.

In the letter, Congressman Lowenthal highlighted some of the challenges in Vietnam. These include human rights abuses such as numerous Vietnamese activists being held as prisoners of conscience by the Vietnamese government, from human rights lawyers to bloggers to religious leaders. Nguyen Cong Chinh, a Lutheran pastor, has faced inhumane conditions and torture in prison, while his wife and family have suffered similar violence and intimidation at the hands of security forces. Renowned human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai has been jailed since December 2015, which followed his brutal public beating by unknown attackers.

Another challenge highlighted in the letter is a massive environmental catastrophe in Vietnam caused by illegal dumping of toxic materials from a plant owned by the Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation, a Taiwanese company operating in Vietnam. This disaster killed millions of fish and devastated local economies and livelihoods over a more than 125 stretch of coastline. The Vietnamese government’s slow response, initial refusal to investigate the matter, and crackdown on public protests regarding the event all harmed some of the poorest and most vulnerable Vietnamese.

Click here to read the full letter.
f t # e

Capitol Hill Office

Washington, DC
125 Cannon HOB
(House Office Building)
Washington, DC 20515

Phone: (202) 225-7924
Fax: (202) 225-7926

Hours: 9am - 6pm EST

District Office

Long Beach
100 W. Broadway
West Tower Suite 600
Long Beach, CA 90802

Phone: (562) 436-3828
Fax: (562) 437-6434

Hours: 9am - 5pm PST

Satellite Office Days and Hours

  • Cypress
    City of Cypress City Hall
    5275 Orange Ave
    Cypress, CA 90630

    Hours: Tuesdays,
    10:00am - 12:30pm

  • Garden Grove
    Garden Grove City Hall
    11222 Acacia Pkwy
    (3rd Floor, Rm. 333)
    Garden Grove, CA 92840

    Hours: Wednesdays,
    2:00pm - 4:30pm

  • Westminster
    Westminster Community Services Building
    8200 Westminster Blvd
    Westminster, CA 92683

    Hours: Wednesdays,
    10:00am - 12:30pm

  • Stanton
    City of Stanton City Hall
    7800 Katella Ave
    Stanton, CA 90680

    Hours: Tuesdays,
    1:30pm - 4:00pm

Please address all mail or correspondence to the Long Beach or Washington, DC offices.