Today, however, the question remains whether Vietnam ever intended to honor such reforms and whether the State Department conveniently accepted Hanoi's dubious promises in order to gain trade, military and diplomatic relations. If the State Department did so, it is clear the Degar Montagnards - who were America's loyal allies during the Vietnam War - have been relegated to little or no importance. U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Michael W. Michalak recently rejected calls by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to put Vietnam back on the CPC watch list. He cited that there was not enough evidence of religious persecution.
Yet we know the European Parliament confirmed a Degar Montagnard woman named "Puih Hbat" was arrested in April 2008 for leading prayer services in her house. Not only did the Europeans confirm that this woman had been sentenced to five years imprisonment for this "crime," but also that this very information had been given to them by U.S. Embassy officials. "Puih Hbat" is a 42-year-old mother of five children, and her family fears that she may have been killed in custody.