Loretta Sanchez Goes to the Net for the Vietnamese
Help for them is coming from this side of the world--in Washington, D.C., to be precise--where U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) has introduced symbolic legislation calling on the Vietnamese government to respect its people's right to free speech and open-Internet access.
Sanchez, who is co-chairperson of the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam and whose 47th Congressional District includes Little Saigon, introduced House Resolution 216 because, she says, Vietnamese officials are increasingly restricting the country's cybercommunity, closing websites, and imprisoning journalists and bloggers who use the Internet to challenge human-rights abuses and the Communist government. Congressmen Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) and Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) co-sponsor the bill.
"For years, the government of Vietnam has pledged to expand the basic human rights and civil liberties of the Vietnamese people, including Internet freedom," Sanchez says in a statement issued by her office. "But despite its stated commitments, Vietnam continues to persecute citizens who use the Internet to protest their lack of rights or speak out against the country's Communist government. As a beacon of freedom and democracy throughout the world, America has a responsibility to speak out against these abuses. I urge other Members of Congress to join me in urging Vietnam to expand Internet freedom and other basic human rights."
The text of HR 216 follows: