International Human Rights Dayby Representative Loretta Sanchez
Posted on 2015-12-10
SANCHEZ of California asked and was given permission to
address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.)
Ms. LORETTA SANCHEZ of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to
commemorate International Human Rights Day.
This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Mr. Speaker, the United States of America was founded upon freedom, democracy, and liberty, and America must perform its role as an advocate and as a defender of these values.
Today, more than 140 prisoners of conscience are currently imprisoned in Vietnam due to their political views and activities. These activists are victims of constant mental and physical harassment and oftentimes are forced to endure unsanitary prison conditions.
Activists, including Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, Dang Xuan Dieu, and Ho Duc Hoa, were falsely tried and imprisoned simply for practicing their right to assemble.
This year, in November, Burma, a country known for its horrendous human rights record, held its first free election, yet Vietnam continues to function as a single-party system. Today, on International Human Rights Day, I urge Vietnam to finally open up its society and to empower its people.