Friday, September 19, 2008

Letter to President George W. Bush /

VietCatholic News (Thứ Sáu 19/09/2008 18:10)

Letter to President George W. Bush

September 19th, 2008

The Honorable George W. Bush
United States of America

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC 20500

Dear President Bush:

We were frightened and anguished to learn that in Hanoi, Vietnam, early this morning, Friday September 19th, 2008 hundreds of police blocked access to and from the residence, the cathedral, and all roads leading to the nearby Toa Kham Su Nunciature.

While the Vietnamese people were protesting for their religious freedom in Thai Ha, the secret police's bulldozers were moved into the Toa Kham Su area and workers began to dig out the lawn and yards of the Nunciature. State controlled television and radios announced that the state had decided to demolish the church building. People who tried to come near the Nunciatre were arrested on sight.

An American reporter and Hanoi bureau chief for Associated Press, Mr. Ben Stocking, was arrested and beaten today by the police when he tried to take photos of the confrontations at the Nunciature. His camera and belongings were confiscated.

We strongly condemn all of these religious freedom violations, including that of Hoa Hao, Cao Dai, Christian, and Budhist faiths.

We strongly support all Vietnamese people who stand up for their rights and to fight for their religious freedom...

The United States of America has had a long history of protecting religious freedom and promoting democracy throughout the world. We respectfully urge you to use your influence to ensure that the Hanoi regime desists from all sorts of violent repression of religious freedom, specifically:

1) The State of Vietnam must stop besieging Hanoi archbishop residence, and end the demolition of religious properties.
2) The State of Vietnam must immediately release all innocent people who have been arrested while peacefully assembled outside the church property.

The Vietnam communist regime must respect its people's human rights and international laws that it has signed. It must immediately take firm and concrete actions to prevent further religious and human rights violations against followers of religious groups, recognizing their rights to practice their faiths free of harassment and oppression.


Dr. Hai Van Ha,President
Southeast Asia Democracy Coalition

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