Home > 105th Congressional Bills > S.Res. 312 (ats) To amend Senate Resolution 209 in order to provide budget levels in the Senate for purposes of fiscal year 1999 and include the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003. ...

S.Res. 312 (ats) To amend Senate Resolution 209 in order to provide budget levels in the Senate for purposes of fiscal year 1999 and include the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003. ...

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  2d Session
S. RES. 311

   Calling on the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to 
 immediately and unconditionally release Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly, 
                        and for other purposes.



                             March 4, 2004

Mr. Brownback submitted the following resolution; which was referred to 
                   the Committee on Foreign Relations



   Calling on the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to 
 immediately and unconditionally release Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly, 
                        and for other purposes.

Whereas, in February 2001, Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly, a Roman Catholic 
        priest, was formally invited to testify before the United States 
        Commission on International Religious Freedom but was denied permission 
        to leave the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and thus, instead, submitted 
        written testimony critical of the Government of Vietnam, which was read 
        into the Commission record on February 13, 2001;
Whereas Father Ly's testimony before the Commission documents numerous specific 
        actions of the Government of Vietnam against religious freedom that he 
        classified as collectively being ``extremely cruel'' and requiring a 
        ``non-violent and persistent campaign'' to achieve full religious 
        freedom for all people in Vietnam;
Whereas Father Ly has been detained by the Government of Vietnam since February 
        2001, when the Government placed him under administrative detention, 
        and, as a direct response to his testimony, branded him a traitor for 
        ``slandering'' the Communist party and ``distorting'' the religious 
        policy of the government;
Whereas the Government of Vietnam issued a second decree suspending Father Ly's 
        ability to ``carry on any religious responsibility and functions'' and 
        later formally removed Father Ly from his church, detained him, and 
        denied him access to legal counsel;
Whereas, on October 19 2001, the Thua Thien Hue Provincial People's Court 
        convicted Father Ly of all charges after a one-day, closed trial without 
        the benefit of counsel and sentenced him to 2 years in prison for 
        violating the terms of his administrative detention, 13 years in prison 
        for, ``damaging the Government's unity policy,'' and 5 years of 
        administrative probation upon release from prison;
Whereas, after pleas from United States Government officials and the world 
        community, Father Ly's sentence was reduced by 5 years;
Whereas, in June 2001, Father Ly's nephews Nguyen Vu Viet, age 27, and Nguyen 
        Truc Cuong, age 36, and his niece Nguyen Thi Hoa, age 44, were arrested 
        for allegedly being in contact and receiving support from 
        ``reactionary'' organizations in the United States concerning the 
        religious situation in Vietnam and disseminating information concerning 
        the detention of Father Ly;
Whereas after their cases generated much concern in Congress, Nguyen Thi Hoa, 
        Nguyen Vu Viet, and Nguyen Truc Cuong all have been released;
Whereas, on November 27, 2003, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary 
        Detention issued Opinion No. 20/2003 stating that ``the Group is 
        convinced that [Father Ly] has been arrested and detained only for his 
        opinions . . . [and] the deprivation of the liberty of Father Thadeus 
        Nguyen Van Ly is arbitrary, as being in contravention of Article 19 of 
        the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of Article 19 of the 
        International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights'';
Whereas Father Ly has been deprived of his basic human rights by being denied 
        his ability to exercise freedom of opinion and expression; and
Whereas the arbitrary imprisonment and the violation of the human rights of 
        citizens of Vietnam are sources of continuing, grave concern to the 
        Congress: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That--
            (1) the Senate--
                    (A) condemns and deplores the arbitrary detention 
                of Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly by the Government of 
                the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and calls for his 
                immediate and unconditional release;
                    (B) condemns and deplores the violations of freedom 
                of speech, religion, movement, association, and the 
                lack of due process afforded to individuals in the 
                Socialist Republic of Vietnam;
                    (C) strongly urges the Government of Vietnam to 
                consider the implications of its actions for the 
                broader relationship between the United States and 
                Vietnam; and
                    (D) strongly urges the Government of Vietnam to 
                consider the implications of its actions in the context 
                of the United States-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement, 
                under which Vietnam currently receives Normal Trade 
                Relations (NTR) status subject to chapter 1 of title IV 
                of the Trade Act of 1974 (commonly known as the 
                ``Jackson-Vanik Amendment''); and
            (2) it is the sense of the Senate that the United States 
                    (A) make the immediate release of Father Thadeus 
                Nguyen Van Ly a top concern;
                    (B) make it clear to the Government of Vietnam that 
                it is not in the Government's interest to detain Father 
                Ly and others like him for political or religious 
                reasons or to inflict human rights violations on such 
                people or groups because such actions create obstacles 
                to improved bilateral relations and cooperation with 
                the United States; and
                    (C) reiterate the deep concern of the United States 
                regarding the continued imprisonment of Father Ly and 
                other persons whose human rights are being violated and 
                discuss the legal status and immediate humanitarian 
                needs of such people with the Government of Vietnam.

Pages: 1

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