December 4th, 2017
To the Honorable Daniel J. Kritenbrink
U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam
Dear Mr. Ambassador,
I would like to share with you some of the concerns the Vietnamese Community has regarding human rights issues in Vietnam. I retired after 16 years, from Radio Free Asia, which provided me the opportunity to keep current on issues affecting the people of Vietnam.
While I am sure that you are aware of the plight of the common people in Vietnam, I would like to bring your attention to just a few of the concerns our community has regarding the Vietnamese Government’s violations. Specifically:
Freedom of Religion – While this is being touted in their propaganda as a freedom, in fact freedom to worship is forbidden in the remote areas and when put into practice must be masked.
Freedom of Speech – This is often condemn as an attempt to:
– Disturb the peace and commit a crime prejudicial to National Security
– Espionage/spy for Foreign Governments
– Conspiracy to overthrow the Government
When charged with violations of these “crimes” the verdicts are always harsh, even for women, who are with very young children and only struggle peacefully for democracy, freedom and human rights.
There have been more than 250 individuals who incomprehensibly died while in the police’s captivity. These dead bodies have came home, some with their throats slit and others with evidence of barbarous torture. When questioned regarding the deaths, the Vietnamese authorities claim that they committed suicide while at the police station.
May I wish you and your family a Joyful Holiday season with good health, luck and success for the New Year of 2018.
Thao Hieu Dao
Former Vietnamese Air Force Officer
Former Political Prisoner
8057 Morning Meadow court
Alexandria, VA 22315