Parents of prisoners of conscience testify before U.S. Congress

(VNRN) – At a hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 16, a group of parents of Vietnamese prisoners of conscience speak out against human rights abuses and calling for the freedom of not just their children but all people held simply for peacefully exercising their rights.

Mrs. Tran Thi Ngoc Minh, the mother of Do Thi Minh Hanh; Mr. Tran Van Huynh, the father of Tran Huynh Duy Thuc; Mrs. Nguyen Thi Tram, the mother of Le Quoc Quan; and Mrs. Nguyen Thi Kim Lien, the mother of Dinh Nhat Uy and Dinh Nguyen Kha; all traveled from Vietnam to Washington D.C. to testify.

Following are the videos of the appearances by Tran Thi Ngoc Minh and Tran Van Huynh, and then the full text of Mr. Huynh’s testimony.


Thank you Chairman Wolf, Chairman McGovern and other members of the Commission for allowing me to speak on behalf of my son as well as Le Quoc Quan and Dinh Nguyen Kha whose mothers are sitting right here next to me. We are here because our sons remain in prison in Vietnam. We ask for your intervention because our sons did nothing wrong other than exercising their freedom of speech. Yet, my son, Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, was sentenced to 16 years in prison and 5 years under house arrest. His trial lasted less than one day.

We therefore appeal to the Commission to first, request the Vietnamese government to allow you to visit our sons and other prisoners of conscience in Vietnam. If your request is denied, please make it a condition upon the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Second, we urge you to advocate for the passing of the Vietnam Human Rights Act into law.

And last, as a member of The Vietnam Path Movement, one of many civil society organizations set up recently in Vietnam, I urge you to help us with capacity building and training. So that our people will be empowered to advocate for changes and for the release of all prisoners of conscience in Vietnam.

Thank you very much for your attention to this matter.


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