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American Legion National Commander Calls for Senate Vote on Vietnam Human Rights Act of 2004
Tuesday September 28

INDIANAPOLIS , Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ — The top official of the world’s largest veterans service organization is calling on members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee to bring to a vote a bill that aims to improve Vietnam ‘s worsening record on human rights and religious freedom.”Severe religious persecution is standard practice in Vietnam , and it is worsening,” said Thomas P. Cadmus of Michigan , national commander of the 2.7- million member American Legion. “Hundreds of Christians, Buddhists and followers of other faiths are in jail today, or under house arrest without charges, for peacefully following beliefs that are not authorized by the government.”The Vietnam Human Rights Act of 2004, sponsored by Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., passed by a 323-45 vote in the House on July 19. The Senate version was introduced by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., on Sept. 9. It was referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where it has yet to be considered. A similar measure passed by a 410-1 landslide in the House in 2001 but stalled in committee after it was referred to the Senate.