The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.

August 9, 2018 9:00am, Orange, CA



Helen Nguyen, wife of Michael Nguyen, U.S. Citizen detained by the Vietnamese government for over 33 days without any cause or charges, has met with four Members of Congress this past week.

Representative Mimi Walters, R-Irvine, (Nguyen’s congressional representative), is leading a bipartisan coalition along with Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton, Rep. Alan Lowenthal D-Garden Grove & Rep. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana.

Representative Walters released a statement this morning, “The continued imprisonment of Michael Nguyen by the Vietnamese government is unacceptable and must come to an end. Throughout this horrific ordeal, the Nguyen family has displayed tremendous strength while relentlessly advocating for his release.  As I continue to work closely with the State Department and U.S. Embassy in Vietnam to help secure Michael’s immediate release, I am thankful my colleagues from both sides of the aisle are joining the efforts to put an end to Michael’s detention.  I will continue to take every action necessary to ensure Michael’s safe and swift return home to his family in America.”

Representative Alan Lowenthal spoke of the issue late Wednesday evening, “In recent days, the government of Vietnam has increased its crackdown on dissidents and its arrest of peaceful Americans.  It is especially alarming to see more American citizens of Vietnamese descent become the target of the repressive regime.  This is unacceptable and I will work closely with my colleagues in Congress on both sides of the aisle, in conjunction with the State Department to send a clear message to the government of Vietnam that continuing to trample on human rights is not the way to advance US-Vietnam bilateral relations.  I stand with Michael Phuong Minh Nguyen’s wife and children and I urge the Vietnamese authorities to afford proper due process to Michael, to allow Michael access to his family while in detention, and to quickly release Michael back to his wife and children.”

Representative Ed Royce stated that “Michael Phuong Minh Nguyen, a resident of Orange, California, was wrongly detained more than a month ago while touring Vietnam and visiting elderly relatives. Michael is deeply missed by his wife and his four daughters. This situation is unacceptable. Michael needs to be returned home safely to his family immediately.”

Representative Lou Correa told the Nguyen family to Please count on our support.  I will be working with other members of congress on this matter to bring your husband home safely soon.”


Michael Phuong Minh Nguyen of Orange, CA, also has family in both Houston and Dallas.  Nguyen’s family in Texas is receiving the support from U.S. House Representatives as well as, both Texas senators.  Senator Cruz’s office has confirmed a meeting with Nguyen’s Texas family, which will include Michael’s wife and other California family members in the meeting via FaceTime.  Senator Cornyn’s office is also aware and involved.

The petition to Secretary of State Pompeo (an Orange, CA native himself) to Free Michael Nguyen has gained overwhelming support, garnering nearly 50,000 signatures in about 10 days.

The family is grateful for the outpouring of support in their local communities, as well across the nation. Tens of thousands of people have voiced their strong support for the immediate release of an American Citizen, detained by a foreign government for over a month, without bringing any charges or allowing any access to his family or a lawyer. At most, he may receive one visit per month for an hour from the United States Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The family asks for your continued support and prayers for Nguyen’s health and his safe return.

Voice of OC posts press releases to provide readers with information directly from organizations. We do not edit or rewrite press releases, and encourage readers to contact the originator of a given release for more information.

To submit a press release email

Since you've made it this far,

You are obviously connected to your community and value good journalism. As an independent and local nonprofit, our news is accessible to all, regardless of what they can afford. Our newsroom centers on Orange County’s civic and cultural life, not ad-driven clickbait. Our reporters hold powerful interests accountable to protect your quality of life. But it’s not free to produce. It depends on donors like you.

Join the conversation: In lieu of comments, we encourage readers to engage with us across a variety of mediums. Join our Facebook discussion. Message us via our website or staff page. Send us a secure tip. Share your thoughts in a community opinion piece.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *