LETTER ON JUNE FOURTH MASSACRE
SPEECH AT COPENHAGEN DEMOCRACY SUMMIT
LETTER SUPPORTING CONGRESS AGAINST THE CCP
TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY OF UKRAINE: DEFENDING THE PRINCIPLES OF THE CHARTER OF THE UN
DECLARATION ON FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS FOR VIETNAM
USG CONSULTATION ON SUPPORTING FREE AND INDEPENDENT MEDIA
USG CONSULTATION ON FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS AND POLITICAL PROCESSES
USG CONSULTATION ON BOLSTERING DEMOCRATIC REFORMERS AND PROTECTING HUMAN RIGHTS
LETTER TO CONGRESS RE. THE TAIWAN POLICY ACT OF 2022
August 8, 2022
According to AP, China is extending its military exercises surrounding Taiwan which have disrupted shipping and air traffic in that region. This, in effect, provides a blockage of Taiwan, threatens our allies, and interferes with our freedom of navigation.
We, the undersigned, believes that this presents a clear and present danger which needs urgent Congressional actions to protect our national interest. The Taiwan Policy Act of 2022 is such an action. It promotes the security of Taiwan, ensures regional stability, and deters People’s Republic of China (PRC) aggression against Taiwan. It also threatens severe sanctions against the PRC for hostile action against Taiwan.
We write to support the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022, currently in the Senate, as well as other legislations which aim to support democracies in Asia. Thank you for your consideration.
STATEMENT TO FACEBOOK OVERSIGHTBOARD
In Vietnam, the ruling Communist Party retains tight control of media and tolerates little dissent. Vietnam ranks 175th of 180 countries on Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index. In April 2020, according to Reuters, Facebook confirmed it had reluctantly complied with the Vietnamese authorities’ request to “restrict access to content which it has deemed to be illegal”. Of course, “illegal” is defined by the authorities as anything mildly critical of the authorities. Many of Facebook’s Vietnamese accounts are from US so the access restriction has the effect of extending the limit of freedom of expression to US citizens.
According to Amnesty International, out of 170 prisoners of conscience in Vietnam, 69 were in jail "solely for their society media activity". Social media platform has restricted content in Vietnam has gone up by 983%, from 77 in the second half of 2019 to 834 in the first half of 2020, according to Facebook's Transparency Report.
Last October the Washington Post reported that Facebook co-founder and Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally signed a commitment with the Vietnamese authorities to limit posts on the social network that are considered "anti-state,” because he didn’t want to be shut out of one of the most important social media markets in Asia.
According to VietNamNet's ictnews, an official website by the authorities, on March 29, 2022, that foreign social networking platforms including Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok removed thousands of posts with content that slandered the Vietnamese Party and State in the first three months of this year. The figures, supplied by Vietnamese authorities, showed that the social media companies took down all but 10% of the posts objected to by the authorities.
The allegations we receive from our activists inside Vietnam are that Facebook has aided the Vietnamese authorities in censoring criticism and repressing dissent, going as far as giving account information to the authorities. We have several testimonies that when the people are summoned by the authorities for questions regarding their social media activity, the authorities already have access to their Facebook account, including username and password.
Our own Facebook account has 210,000 subscribers and has seen many shutdowns over the years. Our posts have seen significantly declined viewership, despites an increase in subscription, which we suspect that Facebook is altering its algorithm to screen out posts that promotes religious freedom and human rights.
We believe that this complicity has a secondary effect of self-censorship by the users of Facebook to avoid harassment and arrests. This set a very troubling precedent for restriction of freedom of speech that can be used by other oppressive authorities. However, we look forward to working with the Oversight Board and Facebook to help change this in the future.
VIETNAM AND THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
“The police told me I cannot leave my house,” Hua Phi reported. At 72 years old, the sub-dignitary of Caodai, a major religion in Vietnam, has been a seasoned activist for religious freedom and democracy. His latest encounters with Vietnamese authorities came after him being invited to the International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington, DC in the last week of June 2022.
USG CONSULTATION ON VIETNAM'S ELECTION INTEGRITY
USG CONSULTATION ON VIETNAM'S GENDER ISSUES
USG CONSULTATION ON VIETNAM'S WORKERS RIGHTS
USG CONSULTATION ON BRIBERY IN VIETNAM
LETTER TO THE US ADMINISTRATION RE. THE US-ASEAN LEADERS SUMMIT
LETTER TO US CONGRESS RE. VIETNAM'S EXPORTING COTTON FROM XINJIANG
We are writing to express our sincere gratitude for your leadership in confronting the on-going genocide of the Uyghur people. We also respectfully ask that, as a supporter of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, you would examine the origin of imported cotton products from Vietnam. The amount of total cotton exports from the rest of China, minus Xinjiang, to the rest of the world is 1200 million kg annually. So, for the 939 million kg of annual cotton import to Vietnam from China, it’s easy to argue that at least a significant fraction of which is from the Xinjiang region.
TESTIMONY TO FORCED LABOR ENFORCEMENT TASK FORCE
RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE COUNTERING AUTHORITARIANISM ADVISORY GROUP
EDITORIAL: AXIS OF EVIL
STATEMENT TO US AMBASSADOR TO VIETNAM
Thank you, Ambassador Knapper, for this opportunity, and Dr. Quan for organizing this. Congratulations on your new post. Vietnam is a beautiful country and Vietnamese people are a very friendly people, so we think that you will have a great time. Challenging, but still great.