FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jeff Sagnip (202) 225-3765
Jan. 15, 2014 http://chrissmith.house.gov
Press Conf. Set for Thursday, Jan. 16 @ 1:45 p.m.
Use of Torture in Vietnam Topic of Press Conference; Victims to Speak
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Human rights abuses in Vietnam, including a new report to be issued tomorrow by human rights activists about the alleged use of systematic torture by law enforcement officials in the Vietnamese government upon its own citizens who have been arrested for exercising their basic human rights of freedom of expression, association, assembly, and religion, or for seeking political asylum abroad, will be the topic of a press conference Thursday by victims and human rights leaders.
Police in Vietnam are reported to routinely hold political and religious detainees for months, torturing and abusing them during interrogation, and prohibiting them from communicating with their families or lawyers. The report will be issued by the Campaign to Abolish Torture in Vietnam.
Who: House global human rights subcommittee Chairman Chris Smith (NJ-04), author of the Vietnam Human Rights Act which passed the House in 2013; Rep. Frank Wolf (VA-10); other invited members; Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang of Boat People SOS; and victims or family of victims:
• Tran Thi Ngoc Minh, the mother of jailed Vietnamese labor activist Do Thi Minh Hanh, who has been beaten repeatedly in prison;
• Ven. Danh Tol, an ethnic Khmer Buddhist monk who was imprisoned and tortured for participating in a peaceful demonstration calling for religious freedom;
• Nguyen Lieu, a Catholic parishioner from Con Dau who was detained and tortured by police in Da Nang for participating in a funeral procession and protest march to a cemetery located on disputed land; and,
• Tran Tu Thanh, a veteran of the Army of Republic of Vietnam and human rights activist who was subjected to torture during his eight years of incarceration in 14 different “re-education” camps.
What: Launch of the new report, “Torture and Abuse of Political and Religious Prisoners in Vietnam.”
Where: Rayburn 2255 (on second floor)
When: Jan. 16, 2014 @ 1:45 p.m