| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 2785 (is) To suspend temporarily the duty on glyoxylic acid. [Introduced in Senate] ...
S. 2785 (is) To suspend temporarily the duty on glyoxylic acid. [Introduced in Senate] ...
108th CONGRESS 2d Session S. 2784 To promote freedom and democracy in Vietnam. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES September 9, 2004 Mr. Brownback (for himself, Mrs. Dole, and Mr. Sessions) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To promote freedom and democracy in Vietnam. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS. (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Vietnam Human Rights Act of 2004''. (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as follows: Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents. Sec. 2. Findings. TITLE I--CONDITIONS ON INCREASED NONHUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO THE GOVERNMENT OF VIETNAM Sec. 101. Bilateral nonhumanitarian assistance. TITLE II--ASSISTANCE TO SUPPORT HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY IN VIETNAM Sec. 201. Assistance. TITLE III--UNITED STATES PUBLIC DIPLOMACY Sec. 301. Radio Free Asia transmissions to Vietnam. Sec. 302. United States educational and cultural exchange programs with Vietnam. TITLE IV--UNITED STATES REFUGEE POLICY Sec. 401. Refugee resettlement for nationals of Vietnam. TITLE V--ANNUAL REPORT ON PROGRESS TOWARD FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY IN VIETNAM Sec. 501. Annual report. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Congress makes the following findings: (1) The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a one-party State, ruled and controlled by the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), which continues to deny the right of citizens to change their government. Although in recent years the National Assembly of Vietnam has played an increasingly active role as a forum for highlighting local concerns, corruption, and inefficiency, the National Assembly remains subject to CPV direction. The CPV maintains control over the selection of candidates in national and local elections. (2) The Government of Vietnam permits no public challenge to the legitimacy of the one-party State. It prohibits independent political, labor, and social organizations and continues to detain and imprison persons for the peaceful expression of dissenting religious and political views, including Pham Hong Son, Tran Dung Tien, Father Nguyen Van Ly, Dr. Nguyen Dan Que, Nguyen Vu Binh, Pham Que Duong, and Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang, among others. (3) The Government of Vietnam continues to commit serious human rights abuses. In January 2004, the Department of State reported to Congress that, during the previous year, the Government of Vietnam had made ``no progress'' toward releasing political and religious activists, ending official restrictions on religious activity, or respecting the rights of indigenous minorities in the Central and Northern Highlands of Vietnam. (4) The Government of Vietnam limits freedom of religion and restricts the operation of religious organizations other than those approved by the State. While officially sanctioned religious organizations are able to operate with varying degrees of autonomy, some of those organizations continue to face restrictions on selecting, training, and ordaining sufficient numbers of clergy and in conducting educational and charitable activities. The Government has previously confiscated numerous churches, temples, and other properties belonging to religious organizations, most of which have never been returned. (5) Unregistered ethnic minority Protestant congregations in the Northwest and Central Highlands of Vietnam suffer severe abuses, which have included forced renunciations of faith, the closure and destruction of churches, the arrest and harassment of pastors, and, in a few cases, there have been credible reports that minority religious leaders have been beaten and killed. (6) The Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV), one of the largest religious denominations in Vietnam, was declared illegal in 1981. The Government of Vietnam confiscated its temples and persecuted its clergy for refusing to join the state-sponsored Buddhist organizations. For more than 2 decades, the Government has detained and confined senior UBCV clergy, including the Most Venerable Thich Huyen Quang, the Most Venerable Thich Quang Do, the Venerable Thich Tue Sy, and others. (7) The Catholic Church in Vietnam continues to face significant restrictions on the training and ordination of priests and bishops, resulting in an insufficient number of priests and bishops to support the growing Catholic population in Vietnam. Although recent years have brought a modest easing of government control in some dioceses, officials in other areas strictly limit the conduct of religious education classes and charitable activities. Father Thaddeus Nguyen Van Ly, who was convicted in a closed trial in 2001 after publicly criticizing religious repression by the Government of Vietnam, remains in prison. (8) The Government of Vietnam continues to suppress the activities of other religious believers, including Cao Dai, Baha'i, and Hoa Hao who lack official recognition or have chosen not to affiliate with the State-sanctioned groups, including through the use of detention and imprisonment. (9) The Government of Vietnam significantly restricts the freedoms of speech and the press, particularly with respect to political and religious speech. Government and Communist Party- related organizations control all print and electronic media, including access to the Internet. The Government blocks web sites that it deems politically or culturally inappropriate, and it jams some foreign radio stations, including Radio Free Asia. The Government has detained, convicted, and imprisoned individuals who have posted or sent democracy related materials via the Internet. (10) Indigenous Montagnards in the Central Highlands of Vietnam continue to face significant repression. The Government of Vietnam restricts the practice of Christianity by those populations, and more than 100 Montagnards have been sentenced to prison terms of up to 13 years for claiming land rights, organizing Christian gatherings, or attempting to seek asylum in Cambodia. (11) The Government of Vietnam uses the separatist agenda of a relatively small number of ethnic minority leaders as a rationale for violating civil and political rights in ethnic minority regions. (12) The Government of Vietnam arrested or detained nearly 300 Montagnards during 2003 and, since then, many hundreds of Montagnards have gone into hiding, fearing arrest, interrogation, or physical abuse by government authorities. (13) During Easter weekend in April 2004, thousands of Montagnards gathered to protest their treatment by the Government of Vietnam, including the confiscation of tribal lands and ongoing restrictions on religious activities. Credible reports indicate that the protests were met with a violent response and that many demonstrators were arrested, injured, or are in hiding, and that others were killed. (14) Government officials continue to restrict access to the Central and Northwest Highlands of Vietnam by diplomats, nongovernmental organizations, journalists, and other foreigners, making it difficult to verify conditions in those areas. (15) United States refugee resettlement programs for Vietnamese nationals, including the Orderly Departure Program (ODP), the Resettlement Opportunities for Returning Vietnamese (ROVR) program, the Priority One (P1) program and the resettlement of boat people from refugee camps throughout Southeast Asia, were authorized by law in order to rescue Vietnamese nationals who have suffered persecution on account of their wartime associations with the United States, as well as those who currently have a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. (16) While these refugee resettlement programs have served their purposes well, a significant number of eligible refugees have been unfairly denied or excluded, in some cases by vindictive or corrupt Government of Vietnam officials who controlled access to the programs, and in other cases by United States personnel who imposed unduly restrictive interpretations of program criteria. (17) The Department of State has agreed to extend the September 30, 1994, registration deadline for former United States employees, ``re-education'' survivors, and surviving spouses of those who did not survive ``re-education'' camps to sign up for United States refugee programs, as well as to resume the Vietnamese In-Country Priority One Program in Vietnam to provide protection to victims of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group who otherwise have no access to the Orderly Departure Program. (18) The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of the Department of Homeland Security has agreed to resume the processing of former United States employees under the U11 program, which had been unilaterally suspended by the United States Government, as well as to review the applications of Amerasians, children of American servicemen left behind in Vietnam after the war ended in April 1975, for resettlement to the United States under the Amerasian Homecoming Act of 1988. (19) Congress and the people of the United States are united in their determination that the expansion of relations with Vietnam should not be construed as approval of or complacency about the serious violations of fundamental human rights engaged in by the Government of Vietnam. The promotion of freedom and democracy around the world is and must continue to be a central objective of United States foreign policy. Congress remains hopeful about, and willing to recognize improvement in, the future human rights practices of the Government of Vietnam, which is the motivating purpose behind this Act. TITLE I--CONDITIONS ON INCREASED NONHUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO THE GOVERNMENT OF VIETNAM SEC. 101. BILATERAL NONHUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE. (a) Assistance.-- (1) In general.--United States nonhumanitarian assistance may not be provided to the Government of Vietnam in an amount exceeding the amount so provided for fiscal year 2004-- (A) for fiscal year 2005, unless not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President determines and certifies to Congress that the requirements of subparagraphs (A) through (D) of paragraph (2) have been met during the 12-month period ending on the date of the certification; and (B) for each subsequent fiscal year unless the President determines and certifies to Congress in the most recent annual report submitted pursuant to section 501 that the requirements of subparagraphs (A) through (E) of paragraph (2) have been met during the 12-month period covered by the report. (2) Requirements.--The requirements of this paragraph are that-- (A) the Government of Vietnam has made substantial progress toward releasing all political and religious prisoners from imprisonment, house arrest, and other forms of detention; (B) the Government of Vietnam has made substantial progress toward-- (i) respecting the right to freedom of religion, including the right to participate in religious activities and institutions without interference by or involvement of the Government; and (ii) returning estates and properties confiscated from the churches; (C) the Government of Vietnam has made substantial progress toward allowing Vietnamese nationals free and open access to United States refugee programs; (D) the Government of Vietnam has made substantial progress toward respecting the human rights of members of ethnic minority groups in the Central Highlands and elsewhere in Vietnam; and (E) neither any official of the Government of Vietnam nor any agency or entity wholly or partly owned by the Government of Vietnam was complicit in a severe form of trafficking in persons, unless the Government of Vietnam took all appropriate steps to end any such complicity and hold such official, agency, or entity fully accountable for its conduct. (b) Exception.-- (1) Continuation of assistance in the national interest.-- Notwithstanding the failure of the Government of Vietnam to meet the requirements of subsection (a)(2), the President may waive the application of subsection (a) for any fiscal year if the President determines that the provision to the Government of Vietnam of increased United States nonhumanitarian assistance would promote the purposes of this Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States. (2) Exercise of waiver authority.--The President may exercise the authority under paragraph (1) with respect to-- (A) all United States nonhumanitarian assistance to Vietnam; or (B) one or more programs, projects, or activities of such assistance. (c) Definitions.--In this section: (1) Severe form of trafficking in persons.--The term ``severe form of trafficking in persons'' means any activity described in section 103(8) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7102(8)). (2) United states nonhumanitarian assistance.--The term ``United States nonhumanitarian assistance'' means-- (A) any assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.), including programs under title IV of chapter 2 of part I of that Act (22 U.S.C. 2169 et seq.), relating to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation), other than-- (i) disaster relief assistance, including any assistance under chapter 9 of part I of that Act (22 U.S.C. 2292 et seq.);
Other Popular 106th Congressional Bills Documents:
|GovRecords.org presents information on various agencies of the United States Government. Even though all information is believed to be credible and accurate, no guarantees are made on the complete accuracy of our government records archive. Care should be taken to verify the information presented by responsible parties. Please see our reference page for congressional, presidential, and judicial branch contact information. GovRecords.org values visitor privacy. Please see the privacy page for more information.|
Supreme Court Decisions
104th Congressional Documents
105th Congressional Documents
106th Congressional Documents
107th Congressional Documents
108th Congressional Documents
1994 Presidential Documents