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Supporting HR 1019 - Freedom of Information in Vietnam Act of 2003

WHEREAS, the NAACP supports the United Nations' International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which affirms "respect for, and observance of, human rights and freedoms;" and

WHEREAS, the NAACP affirms that "[a]ll peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development"; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP seeks to eliminate the digital divide that limits access to information, economic, mobility and disenfranchises people who wish to be self-sufficient; and

WHEREAS, Vietnam has failed to meet its obligations as a signatory to the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which ensures that citizens of Vietnam are free "to seek," receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds; and

WHEREAS, the Government of Vietnam continues to restrict all forms of media, including jamming broadcasts by Radio Free Asia (an independent broadcast service funded by the U.S. in order to provide objective news and information to the people of countries in Asia whose governments deny the right to freedom of expression and of the press) and blocking its Internet site and other sites like the BBC World News; and

WHEREAS, the "Government of Vietnam is taking active measures to keep its citizens from freely accessing the Internet and obtaining international and domestic political, religious, and economic news and information;" and

WHEREAS, the NAACP affirms the right to access information and the freedoms of speech and press.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP support HR 1019, the Freedom of Information in Vietnam Act of 2003 and lobby the U.S. Congress and the President of the United States to pass HR 1019.