Saturday, June 13, 2009

FM spokesman condemns US concerns over religious freedoms

Vietnam has criticized the External Relations Committee of the US House of Representatives for voting to put the country back on the list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) because of religious matters.

Vietnam's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Dzung made the statement on Tuesday and asked the US Congress not to proceed with the proposal.

Dzung told reporters the decision runs counter to the real situation in Vietnam and fails to mirror the development of friendly relations between Vietnam and the US.

In Vietnam, the right to freedom of belief and religion are clearly stated in the Constitution and exercised in reality. Religious groups in Vietnam have received State support and favorable conditions for development. Vietnamese law strictly prohibits any discrimination against its citizens for their belief or for religious reasons. No one has been arrested or detained under house arrest for religious reasons. Only those who break the law are punished in line with Vietnamese law,” the spokesman said.

He said that in Vietnam there is frank and constructive dialogue between parties with differing views based on the principle of mutual understanding and respect.

In that spirit, we always welcome members of the US Congress to Vietnam so they can understand the country better. We also call on the US Congress not to pass this adjustment,” Dung concluded.

Source: VNA


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