Lawmakers call on Bush to push for human rights during Vietnam PM visit

Lawmakers call on Bush to push for human rights during Vietnam PM visit

[JURIST] US lawmakers Wednesday called on the White House to encourage expansion of human rights and religious freedoms in Vietnam as Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai [Wikipedia profile] continued his landmark visit to the US, the first by a Vietnamese head of government since the end of the Vietnam War 30 years ago. The meetings were largely about trade and Vietnam's possible admission to the World Trade Organization, and some US lawmakers want any trade agreements or concessions to be closely linked to reform. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) [official website] said there are "serious issues" in Vietnam, and Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) [official website] said "there is a lack of freedom and a lack of prosperity" in Vietnam. A bill has been introduced in the House that would restrict aid to Vietnam unless certain human-rights conditions are met. President Bush has promised a visit to Vietnam next year. AFP has more.