Congressman Lowenthal Denounces Arrest Of Human Rights Lawyer Nguyen Van Dai By Vietnamese Government

December 17, 2015
Press Release

Congressman Alan Lowenthal today issued the following statement on the arrest yesterday in Vietnam of human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai on charges of "propaganda against the state":

"I am, along with the Vietnamese-American community and many in the international community, shocked and outraged about the arrest of Nguyen Van Dai for doing nothing more than standing up for freedom and human rights in his country.

"Sadly this is just the latest example of the failed human rights record of the Hanoi government and casts a stark spotlight on the fact that cases of human rights abuse and repression are the government-sponsored norm in Vietnam, not the exception.

"Today, I have asked Secretary of State John Kerry to press the Vietnamese government to immediately release Dai and drop all charges against him. Moreover, I calling on the Vietnamese government to unequivocally put an end to attacks on human rights activists.

"When I visited Vietnam earlier this year as part of a congressional delegation, I had the pleasure of meeting Dai in person. It saddens me to think that Dai and other activists must live in fear for their own safety simply for exercising their most basic human rights--the freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly, and the freedom of religion.

"A stronger relationship with Vietnam would benefit our nation and the people of Vietnam. But the possibility of a stronger relationship remains soured by the government of Vietnam's continuing record of attacks and abuses against the freedoms of its own people."

To view the letter, please click here: /UploadedFiles/12-17-15-Lowenthal-letter-Dai-arrest.pdf