Vietnam’s human rights record remains dire in virtually all areas. The ruling Communist Party maintains a monopoly on political power and allows no challenge to its leadership. Basic rights are severely restricted, including freedoms of speech and the media, public assembly, association, and conscience and religion. Rights activists and bloggers face police intimidation, harassment, restricted movement, arbitrary arrest, and incommunicado detention. Farmers lose land to development projects without adequate compensation, and workers are not allowed to form independent unions. The police regularly use torture and beatings to extract confessions. The criminal justice system, including the courts, lacks independence, for example sentencing political dissidents and civil society activists to long prison terms on bogus national security charges.

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