Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Representing California’s 47th Congressional District
PRESS RELEASE, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 14, 2011
MEDIA CONTACT: Adrienne Watson 202-309-0825
REP. LORETTA SANCHEZ CALLS ON VIETNAMESE PRESIDENT TRIET TO PREVENT POSSIBLE RE-DETENTION OF COURAGEOUS DISSIDENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47), Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam and member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, has joined a bipartisan coalition of House members and signed onto a letter calling on the President of Vietnam, Nguyen Minh Triet, to ensure that one of Vietnam’s most prominent dissidents, Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly, remains free following the end of his one-term suspension of his prison sentence on March 15, 2011.
A Catholic priest, Father Ly has served as an enduring symbol of political oppression around the world. He was wrongfully sentenced to eight years in jail for exercising his rights to freedom of religion, expression, and association. Father Ly was given a one-year suspension of his prison sentence after suffering two strokes while in solitary confinement. Out of consideration for internationally recognized human rights, and Father Ly’s declining health, Congresswoman Sanchez believes the Government of Vietnam should prevent the possible re-detention of Father Ly.
“I call on President Triet to authorize the unconditional release of Father Ly,” said Congresswoman Sanchez. “Father Ly and many other courageous Vietnamese dissidents have been harassed and persecuted for far too long. The United States and international community must address Vietnam’s human rights violations and more importantly urge the Government of Vietnam to increase political freedom and improve its legal system.”
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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