Congressman Lowenthal Introduces Bipartisan House Resolution Recognizing 43rd Anniversary of Fall of Saigon
Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today introduced a bipartisan House Resolution recognizing the significance of the 43rd anniversary of the Fall of Saigon and the tragic collapse of the Republic of Vietnam. The Congressman also joins the remaining co-chairs of the Vietnam Caucus to lead a bipartisan bill by Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04) that would address human rights violations by imposing financial and travel sanctions on Vietnamese government officials and human rights abusers.
The Fall of Saigon resolution honors the service of U.S. and South Vietnamese forces that fought and died defending the Republic during the Vietnam War, the hundreds of thousands who lost their lives attempting to flee Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon, the millions more that found safety in nations around the world, and the accomplishments and contributions of Vietnamese Americans to our nation over the past 43 years.
On April 30, 1975, communist forces invaded Saigon, the capitol of the Republic of Vietnam. The event is now remembered as ‘‘Black April'' or the ‘‘Fall of Saigon.'' Each year this somber event is commemorated in Vietnamese American communities across the United States."The Vietnamese American community will never forget the Fall of Saigon. For many it was the end of one life and the start of another," Congressman Lowenthal said. "Sadly, far too many did not survive at all. Each year, we commemorate those who fell, those who survived, and those who rebuilt a new life and continue to contribute every day to our nation."
The bipartisan resolution is cosponsored by 19 Congressional Members.
Since his tenure in the House began in 2013, Congressman Lowenthal has been a champion of the Vietnamese American community in his district, particularly on the issue of human and civil rights violations by the Vietnamese government, and their continued arrest and detention of political prisoners.
The bipartisan House bill also introduced today by Congressman Chris Smith and cosponsored by Congressman Lowenthal is known as the Vietnam Human Rights Act. It would place financial and travel sanctions under the Magnitsky Act on Vietnamese abusers of human rights. It also calls for the release of political prisoners and a halt to the arrest of pro-democracy activists. It also provides for U.S. assistance to address Internet freedom, combat human trafficking, and support ethnic minorities in Vietnam.
The bill would also: designate Vietnam as a ‘country of particular concern,' a designation reserved for nations guilty of particularly severe violations of religious freedom under the International Religious Freedom Act; call for the Voice of America and Radio Free Asia to be allowed to operate freely in Vietnam; and, make any sales of U.S. military equipment or services to Vietnam conditional on improvements in human rights.
To read the entire resolution, please click here.