As US and Vietnam get closer, rights concerns grow – Christian Science Monitor

BANGKOK — Five days of joint US-Vietnam naval exercises that started Monday in Vietnam are the latest signals of growing cooperation between the one-time enemies.But as the US and Vietnam draw closer, the communist government’s human rights record is raising questions among activists whether the US is sufficiently vocal about political, economic, and free speech violations in Vietnam, a single party state.According to Phil Robertson, Deputy Asia Director at Human Rights Watch: “There is a real need for sustained US pressure on Vietnam to free political prisoners, respect freedom of expression and the vibrant blogosphere that is making Vietnam one of the fast growing users of the Internet in South East Asia, and repeal repressive laws that Hanoi uses to quash individuals and groups that the government doesn’t like.”

Thai court sentences American citizen to 2.5 years in prison for insulting monarchy – Christian Science Monitor

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2011/1208/Thai-court-sentences-American-citizen-to-2.5-years-in-prison-for-insulting-monarchy BANGKOK – US citizen Joe Gordon was sentenced to 2-1/2 years jail today for translating a banned biography of...