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The White House announced last week that President Obama will be hosting the president of Vietnam, Truong Tan Sang, on his first visit to Washington on July 25. The meeting appears to fall under the U.S. administration’s Asia-Pacific rebalancing strategy, or Asia Pivot, which is aimed in large part at addressing the rising regional tensions associated with China’s political and economic pressure on its smaller neighbors. While stepping up its dialogue with Beijing, the United States is strengthening ties with allies and other countries in East and Southeast Asia. But unlike most of these partners, Vietnam remains a repressive one-party state and has done little, by way of democratic reform, to earn a presidential invitation.

On June 3, 2013, Freedom House made an oral statement to the UN Human Rights Council raising concerns about the rise in states’ surveillance of communications.

Freedom House condemns the conviction of 14 human rights defenders in Vietnam and calls for their immediate release and for the release of other jailed free speech advocates. Their conviction is the latest in an intensified attack by the government on those seeking to exercise their right to free speech, and their trial was one of the largest ever trials of human rights defenders in the country.

Freedom House condemns the recent escalation in the persecution of free speech advocates in Vietnam, and calls for the release of several bloggers who have been unjustly imprisoned for shining a light on corruption and human rights abuses.



Senior Research Analyst for East Asia

Sarah Cook is a senior research analyst for East Asia at Freedom House.


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