Editor’s Note: Human rights activists are decrying what they describe as the worst crackdown on human rights in Vietnam in 20 years. The situation has been aggravated by a twist in U.S. policy, says NAM editor Andrew Lam. Lam is the author of "Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora."
A picture paints a thousand words, but an image taken from the state-controlled television in Vietnam and circulated widely on the Internet can convey the struggle of an entire people. Flanked by two angry-looking policemen, a man sits bleary-eyed, his mouth covered by the hand of an out-of-uniform policeman behind him.