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Rubio, Colleagues Introduce Vietnam Human Rights Sanctions Act

Jul 19, 2017 | Press Releases

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), John Cornyn (R-TX), John Boozman (R-AR), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) today introduced the Vietnam Human Rights Sanctions Act, legislation that would impose sanctions and travel restrictions on Vietnamese nationals who are complicit in human rights abuses against the Vietnamese people.
“As the U.S. and Vietnam strengthen our security and trade partnership, this cannot come at the expense of pressing the Vietnamese government to significantly improve its human rights record,” said Rubio. “The universal rights of the Vietnamese people, including freedom of expression, association, assembly and religion, must be respected, and U.S. officials at the highest levels must continue to call for the release of all Vietnamese political prisoners. This legislation will help advance these principles.”
“This bill is a critical step in the fight to strengthen the freedoms of the people of Vietnam,” said Cornyn. “Until Vietnam releases all its political prisoners and demonstrates respect for its citizens’ basic human rights, the United States must continue to put pressure on their oppressive regime. I’ve introduced this bill with the goal of helping lift up its citizens, and the hope that one day our two nations may have the strong relationship many of us in the United States and Vietnam desire.”
The Vietnam Human Rights Sanction Act would:

  • Direct the president to compile a list of Vietnamese nationals deemed to be complicit in human rights abuses in Vietnam, prohibit those individuals from entering the United States, and impose financial sanctions on them.
  • Express the sense of Congress that, due to Vietnam’s atrocious record on religious freedom, the secretary of state should re-designate Vietnam a “country of particular concern” (CPC) with respect to religious freedom under the International Religious Freedom Act.