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Let Freedom Ring from Mekong Delta

Fifty years ago, on August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, delivered “I Have a Dream” speech. His dream has become true for the people, especially the African-American in America. People around the world have followed his dream to build the equality and democracy society for their countries. Unfortunately, the people in Vietnam, especially the Indigenous Khmer-Krom Peoples in Mekong Delta, still do not have the basic freedom. They live under the regime that is controlled by a single party, the Vietnamese Communist Party. A country that is led by a single party never has the true democracy and freedom.

Khmer-Krom Peaceful Demonstration in Washington D.C

By Melanie Ly
Washington D.C.- On June 4th, 2013, there was a peaceful demonstration in Washington D.C. by the Khmer Krom people from all different parts of the United States. The news of this was only mentioned just a week before the actual event but due to the quick works by social media, word got out like rapid fire. As we walked off the bus and into the crowd, our brothers and sisters greeted us with warm welcomes and encouraging smiles.

Khmer Krom Testifies at US Hearing on Vietnam ‘Repression’

Reported by Sok Khemara,

06 June 2013
WASHINGTON DC - A Congressional subcommittee held a second hearing on human rights in Vietnam on Tuesday, which included testimony from a Khmer minority representative.

The Khmer Kampuchea Krom are ethnically Khmer people living in southern Vietnam, which once belonged to Cambodia. The Khmer Krom people say they continue to suffer rights abuses under the Vietnamese government.

Tran Mannrinh, a Khmer Krom minority, said the invitation to speak before the US House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, demonstrated that they had not been forgotten.

A Congressional subcommittee held a second hearing on human rights in Vietnam on Tuesday, which included testimony from a Khmer minority representative.

Khmer Krom in Cambodia Mark Loss of Their Homeland

Reported by RFA Khmer, June 4, 2013

Nearly 1,000 ethnic Khmer Krom living in Cambodia on Tuesday marked the 64th anniversary of the loss of their territory to Hanoi amid calls to protect the rights of the remaining members of the group in Vietnam.

Khmer Krom Monks in Hiding from Vietnamese Authorities

Reported by Radio Free Asia, 2013-05-17

Two ethnic Khmer monks have escaped into hiding after an attempt by Vietnamese government and religious authorities to strip them of their religious status following accusations of anti-state activity, sources said on Friday.

Thach Thuol and Lieu Ny—both of the Ta Set pagoda in the Vinh Chau district of Soc Trang province—evaded arrest on Thursday when hundreds of local Buddhists blocked police efforts to detain them, the two men told RFA’s Vietnamese Service.

Vietnam, US Far Apart on Human Rights

HANOI, Vietnam April 19, 2013 (AP)

Vietnamese authorities seeking to stop a well-known democracy activist from meeting an American diplomat last weekend deployed an unusual weapon — a group of elderly ladies.

The women blocked the road leading to the dissident's house, preventing a U.S. Embassy vehicle from reaching the house. The vehicle was supposed to take the dissident to a downtown hotel to meet with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Dan Baer, who was trying to get first-hand accounts from activists and the families of those imprisoned inside the one-party, authoritarian country.

EU Parliament Debates Human Rights In Vietnam, Kazakhstan And Guantanamo

Published on April 18, 2013 Eurasia Review

The European Parliament debated Thursday three separate resolutions calling for measures to enhance freedom of expression in Vietnam and to protect human rights in Kazakhstan and expressing concerns about the situation of hunger striking prisoners in Guantanamo.

The first two resolutions were adopted and the vote on the third measure related to Guantanamo was postponed.

US: Vietnam backsliding on human rights

By By MATTHEW PENNINGTON, Associated Press
March 21,2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration expressed concern Thursday about Vietnam's "backsliding" on human rights and asserted that advancing individual freedoms is key to U.S. policy in Asia.

One example cited is Hanoi's treatment of bloggers who have faced prosecution under national security laws. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Dan Baer told a congressional panel that Vietnam's authoritarian government is rightly proud of expanding Internet use, but it has diminished the value by curbing free exchange of ideas. Baer described those national security laws as draconian.

U.S. senators urged the administration to emphasize the promotion of human rights and democracy as part of its strategic pivot to Asia, which has primarily been cast as an attempt to increase America's military presence and boost trade in response to China's rise.

Human rights activists push U.N. for action over Vietnam’s treatment of cyber-protesters

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, March 8, 2013

Campaigners urged the UN Human Rights Council Friday to take Vietnam to task over its jailing of dozens of cyber-dissidents, claiming Hanoi was in breach of international law.

“We call upon the Council to press Vietnam to put an end to this repression,” said Vo Van Ai, speaking on behalf of Vietnamese campaigners and the International Federation of Human Rights.

In a speech to the UN body — which is halfway through a monthlong session addressing a raft of global rights concerns — he said a total of 32 bloggers and other cyber-dissidents were behind bars in Vietnam, either sentenced or awaiting trial.

Khmer Krom Living on the Edge of the Rising Sea

With half of their land now swallowed up by the ocean, some poor families are trying their best to survive against the continuing seawater intrusion in Viet Nam’s Mekong Delta, but their struggle is far from over.

KIEN GIANG, The Mekong Delta—Along a muddy and windswept beach in a remote seaside village in the south-western province of the Mekong Delta, a one-lane dirt road divides the green arable land on one side and a beach-front on the other. It seems like any other road, but for villagers here, this is simply a much-needed lifeline, a buffer that prevents the rising seawater from swamping their homes.

Those who live behind the dyke, built by the Vietnamese government, have seen their rice fields and houses rescued from saltwater intrusion. Not so fortunate, are the families whose houses and lands are sandwiched between the wall and the sea.

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