Vietnamese activists are expressing some hope that a new law allowing the U.S. to sanction foreign governments for human rights violations and corruption will make Hanoi think twice before it cracks down on dissent, RFA reports:
Buried in the 2017 Defense Department spending bill approved by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama on Dec. 23, the “Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act” allows the administration to apply sanctions to individuals in any country in the world for human rights violations…. (right) was a Russian lawyer and auditor who was arrested after uncovering a tax scam linked to high-ranking government officials. He refused to recant his accusations, and he died in prison under mysterious circumstances.
“I think individuals in the politburo will have to be very cautious from now on when they make a decision to arrest anyone or crack down on the democracy movement,” former prisoner of conscience Nguyen Tien Trung told RFA’s Vietnamese Service.
A group of thugs and police officers attacked a civil society training class in Ho Chi Minh City last week, breaking up the class and beating two of the participants, RFA’s Vietnamese Service has learned. Activist Nguyen Ho Nhat Thnanh (aka Paulo Thanh Nguyen) told RFA that thugs invaded the class, beat him up and threatened him with a gun before taking him to a police station.