PETITION TO PRESIDENT BUSH: REMEMBER THE MONTAGNARDS To: President Of United States Of America Hon. President George W. Bush The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, D.C. 20500 Dear Mr. President: This petition concerns the Montagnard Degar peoples of Vietnam’s Central Highlands, their desire for freedom and the role of the United States government in achieving such freedom for all citizens in Vietnam on the eve of your forthcoming visit to the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit held in Vietnam this November 2006. The petition recognizes that during the Vietnam War the indigenous Montagnard Degar Peoples were loyal allies to the United States and it is estimated that at any one time over 40,000 Montagnards served with their American brothers during that conflict. Upon taking over South Vietnam in 1975 the Hanoi government commenced persecution against the Montagnards that involved a decades long policy of land exploitation, Christian religious repression, torture, killings and imprisonment. In October 2006 the US State Department has continued to maintain Vietnam on the “watch list” of countries that are the worst violators of religious freedom and Montagnard House Church Christians report to us today they are still persecuted for their faith. To date over 350 Degar prisoners remain in Vietnamese prisons for standing up for human rights, for spreading Christianity or for fleeing to Cambodia while the entire Montagnard population faces repression by security forces. MOST IMPORTANTLY, we the undersigned ask that you as representative of the United States, honor and remember the sacrifice the Montagnard Degar people made during the Vietnam War and that human rights for our people and all citizens of Vietnam are raised as a priority issue with the government of Vietnam during your visit to the APEC Summit. We ask that you use your influence to request Vietnam to release all of the estimated 350 Montagnard Degar Prisoners from Vietnamese prisons and establish a permanent solution to address indigenous lands rights and Christian house church persecution in order for progress to benefit all citizens of Vietnam. Mr. President: Please Remember the Montagnards Sincerely The undersigned
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