Press Releases

Congressman Grothman Officially Adopts Pastor A Dao, Vietnamese Prisoner of Conscience

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Washington, August 18, 2020 | Timothy Svoboda (2022252476) | comments

Congressman Glenn Grothman (WI-06) today announced that he has adopted Pastor A Dao, a Vietnamese Prisoner of Conscience, through the Defending Freedoms Project of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Pastor A Dao is a Protestant pastor of the Montagnard Evangelical Church of Christ (MECC) and an advocate for religious freedom.

On August 18, 2016, Pastor A Dao was arrested in Vietnam and sentenced to five years in prison for “helping individuals to escape abroad illegally”. A Dao maintained his innocence. During his interrogation, however, A Dao was reportedly tortured to extract a confession. Conditions deteriorated from there. On September 1, 2018, his wife, Ms. Nguyen Thi Tuoi, visited him in Gia Trung Prison of Gia Lai Province and observed traces of blood and bruising on his face. She learned that in August 2018, prison guards had been using other inmates to beat him. There have been additional reports that A Dao was tortured in prison in late 2019.

Grothman is one of 32 sitting Members of Congress to adopt a Prisoner of Conscience and the only Member from Wisconsin.

“Many Americans do not know the horrors of communism and the human rights abuses that happen daily in communist countries like Vietnam. Pastor A Dao’s story is a reminder of the importance of protecting religious freedom in the United States,” said Grothman. “Nobody should be persecuted, hurt or killed because of their religious beliefs. As a world leader, the U.S. should promote religious liberty worldwide and shine a light on persecution. Pastor A Dao stood up for his beliefs and is now being punished for it. Religious persecution in Vietnam did not start with Pastor A Dao, but it could end with his release, the release of all Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience and the cessation of the country’s systematic trampling of religions that threaten their communist rule.”

Background Information

Learn more about the Defending Freedoms Project here.

Learn more about Pastor A Dao here.

Learn more about the human rights abuses in Vietnam here.

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U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman is serving his third term representing Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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