Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Representing California’s 47th Congressional District
PRESS RELEASE, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2011
MEDIA CONTACT: Adrienne Watson 202-309-0825
REP. SANCHEZ URGES AMBASSADOR SHEAR TO PRIORITIZE HUMAN RIGHTS AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ISSUES
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47), Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam, today led a letter from a bipartisan group of lawmakers urging the newly confirmed Ambassador to Vietnam, David Shear, to prioritize human rights and religious freedom issues.
“David Shear’s confirmation as Ambassador to Vietnam comes at a critical time, as the Vietnamese government pursues an improved relationship with the United States,” said Rep. Sanchez. “Yet Vietnam continues to fail to respect the fundamental human rights of its citizens. The Hanoi regime infiltrates the private Internet accounts of local dissidents, holds hundreds of democratic activists, land grievers, students and religious leaders, and silences them for peacefully advocating for social justice and religious freedom.
“I am very disappointed that the U.S. Department of State failed to designate Vietnam as a ‘Country of Particular Concern’ in its 2011 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom, despite recommendations from the United States Congress as well as the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. We must continue to reassess our trade relations until Vietnam takes concrete action to improve its human rights record.”
A bipartisan coalition of Representatives signed on to Rep. Sanchez’s letter, including Reps. Zoe Lofgren, Christopher Smith, Gerald Connolly, Dan Lungren, Susan Davis, Edward Royce, Michael Honda, Frank Wolf, Madeleine Bordallo, Mike Coffman, Al Green, Bob Filner, and Brad Miller.
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is proud to represent California’s 47th Congressional District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and parts of Fullerton in Orange County. She serves as Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces and a senior member of the Committee on Homeland Security. Rep. Sanchez is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and sits on the bipartisan, bicameral Joint Economic Committee.
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