E-Petitioning for Human Rights
BY Nick Judd | Monday, February 27 2012
Here's an interesting petition on the White House's "We the People" online petitions platform; it's called "Stop Expanding Trade with Vietnam at the Expense of Human Rights," and reads, in part:
Since 2007, the Vietnamese government has continuously waged brutal crackdown against human rights advocates, arresting and/or detaining notables such as: Rev. Nguyen Van Ly, Nobel Peace Prize nominees Ven.Thich Quang Do and Dr.Nguyen Dan Que, blogger Dieu Cay, and most recently songwriter Viet Khang, who merely expressed love for freedom and patriotism through songs he posted online ... We implore you, Mr. President, to leverage Vietnam’s desire for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Generalized System of Preferences to force the immediate and unconditional release of all detained or imprisoned human rights champions. Show the world America puts freedom first.
The Obama administration has been pushing for increased trade with Asian business partners, including Vietnam.
Though the petition has already garnered 25,000 "signatures" — users create an account on the White House site linked to an email address, then use that account to "sign" a petition — its supporters continue to rack them up in the hopes of student debt and the Stop Online Piracy Act. But so far, noteworthy responses have only emerged when citizen inquiry happens to coincide with an area of interest for the administration.