Police Agents Swoop as Obama Talks Human Rights in Vietnam

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President Obama stressed the importance of human rights, including freedom of speech and assembly, during his meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart – but even as he spoke, police agents were swooping on prominent dissidents to prevent them from meeting the president.

The indepedent blogger and reporter for Vietnam Right Now, Trang Doan Pham, went missing with a friend just after 10 am on the morning of President Obama’s arrival.

She has not been heard from since and is believed to have been detained by police.

She is one of a number of civil society activists thought to have been invited to meet President Obama to explain the regular threats, harassment and violence suffered by pro-democracy campaigners.


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The veteran reformist and former entrepreneur, Dr Nguyen Quang A, reported that plainclothes agents had gathered outside his house to prevent him leaving for the meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

“There continues to be areas where our two governments disagree, including on democracy and human rights,” said President Obama.

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Police agents surround a dissident’s house

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