Vietnam activists to seek US refuge after Biden administration deal: US officials

Vietnam activists to seek US refuge after Biden administration deal: US officials

WASHINGTON: According to US officials, two Asian activists who the Biden administration believes were wrongfully detained by the nation’s state are moving to the country as part of a deal that was negotiated before the president recently traveled to Hanoi.

According to one of the officials, a Christian pastor who was evicted from his house, an attorney for human rights who advocated for transparency for police crimes, and their families are leaving Vietnam for the United States.

The people are expected to apply for resettlement in the United States as part of the” Priority 1″ immigrant program. The protesters were no detained, but they were forbidden from leaving Vietnam.

Prior to Biden’s visit last week, the US government had also agreed to release two Vietnamese activists who had been imprisoned, according to a US official. The government also signed an individual agreement to advance religious freedom, non-governmental organization ( NGO ) operations in the nation, prison conditions, and labor laws.

The secret agreement’s subjects, which Reuters has never independently examined, were not originally covered. They were signed as Vietnam agreed to elevate Washington to the top political position in Hanoi along with China and Russia during a vacation where Biden supported the nation’s aspirations for high-tech leadership.

The contracts come as the Biden administration is under fire for its negotiations with Iran over a slave trade and diplomacy with countries like Vietnam, India, and Saudi Arabia, whose institutions deny Western political rights.

A religiously-focused legal expert who was freed to Germany and another person who had been sentenced for duty avoidance related to his NGO were among the Asian prisoners.

The authorities refused to give the titles of any of the four individuals, citing diplomatic and security concerns, but it is known who the two former prisoners are. His release and earlier this month’s trip to Germany with his wife were confirmed by constitutional expert Nguyen Bac Truyer. Mai Phan Loi’s release as an independent journalist was likewise confirmed earlier this month.


The Taiwanese human rights group considers the situation to be critical.

Human Rights Watch reported earlier this month that Vietnam is detaining 22 additional democratic detainees in addition to at least 159 existing ones. According to the lobbying group, 15 people were given lengthy prison sentences this year without a good test.

Individuals familiar with the ideas claim that Vietnam is also drafting new regulations that would restrict freedom of expression online, including banning social media users who post news-related information without being registered as journalists.

Ben Swanton, co-director of Project 88, a Vietnam-focused rights advocacy organization, said it was” outrageous” that President Biden would choose to strengthen diplomatic relations with the nation while the one-party state is engulfed in an heinous crackdown on civil society, engagement, and protest.

For prisoners are frequently released by Vietnam before political visits. One US official claims that during the last round of negotiations over the joint declaration and vacation logistics, officials from the biden administration pushed for the return visas.

The US national stated that the people” member of a much larger group that we believe may be completely.”

We do believe that this enhanced relationship and increased partnership provide us with the tools and procedures we need to continue working on these issues with Taiwanese friends, even though we wish we could have gotten a lot more people out before the president’s visit.

In addition to continuing discussions between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Asian equivalent Bui Thanh Son, US officials expressed their desire that these discussions will take place during annual rights dialogues with the Vietnamese, which have occasionally been dismissed by some rights activists and officials as an unsubstantial exchange of talking points.