12/17/2010, 00.00
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U.S. ambassador in Hanoi, "worrying situation of human rights"

Michael Michalak, U.S. representative in Hanoi, writes on the embassy website: “Still massive violations of the rights of the population in the country. Religious freedom improved somewhat, but the cases of Catholic parishes worrying. "

Hanoi (AsiaNews) - The United States "is still concerned about the human rights situation in Vietnam. The government continues to inhibit freedom of expression, to repress dissidents and to consider all political parties who are not Communist-inspired terrorists. " This is the strong denunciation that appeared on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam, signed by the U.S.ambassador to Hanoi, Michael Michalak. The article takes its cue from the International Human Rights Day which was celebrated worldwide on 10 December.

A lawyer from Hanoi tells AsiaNews: "After the Asean conference that was held right here in Vietnam, local authorities returned to their crackdown on dissidents, lawyers, intellectuals, democracy activists and all those who criticize the government." Michalak, who has almost completed his mandate, adds: "In 2010, 24 dissidents were arrested and 14 others were sentenced for their search for justice through nonviolence."

For the ambassador, "many intellectuals have said the truth about the society in which they live, but were considered anti-government and imprisoned. In addition, 2010 was the year of the great war against the internet: many sites have been destroyed, and many bloggers have been arrested for their online campaigns. "

Michalak says that the country has made "progress" in religious freedom, but stressed: "The government has used violence in the cases of the parishes of Dong Chiem and Con Dau, and this has led to suspicions about the administration and use of law by the government. This behavoir also damaged the progress made in the field of religious freedom. "

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