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Civil & Human Rights - Vietnam


Vietnam continued to systematically violate basic civil and political rights in 2020. The government, under the one-party rule of the Communist Party of Vietnam, tightened restrictions on freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, movement, and religion. Prohibitions remained on the formation or operation of independent unions and any other organizations or groups considered to be a threat to the Communist Party’s monopoly of power. Authorities blocked access to several websites and social media pages and pressured social media and telecommunications companies to remove or restrict content critical of the government or the ruling party.

Those who criticized the government or party faced police intimidation, harassment, restricted movement, physical assault, arbitrary arrest and detention, and imprisonment. Police detained political detainees for months without access to legal counsel and subjected them to abusive interrogations. Party-controlled courts sentenced bloggers and activists on fabricated national security charges.

Vietnamese authorities appeared to have had some successes in combating the Covid-19 pandemic. After adopting aggressive contact tracing, mass testing, public campaigns on hygiene, early border closures, social-distancing, and mandatory centralized quarantines, Vietnam by late 2020 reported only about 1,000 confirmed cases and 35 deaths. However, Vietnam’s successes came at the cost of increasing violations of rights: restrictions on freedom of speech; failure to protect the right of privacy; and inequity in access to social services and government support.

Freedom of Expression, Opinion, and Speech
Online dissidents faced routine harassment and intimidation in 2020. Several were arrested and charged under Vietnam’s penal code, which criminalizes speech critical of the government or which promotes “reactionary” ideas. The government prosecuted numerous dissidents throughout the year.

In April, June, and July, courts tried Phan Cong Hai, Nguyen Van Nghiem, Dinh Van Phu, and Nguyen Quoc Duc Vuong and sentenced them to between five and eight years each in prison for criticizing the party and the state.

Police arrested Nguyen Tuong Thuy in May and Le Huu Minh Tuan in June for involvement with the Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam (IJAVN) and charged them with anti-state propaganda under article 117 of the penal code. The organization’s president, Dr. Pham Chi Dung, was arrested in November 2019, apparently in connection to his vocal opposition to the European Union-Vietnam free trade agreement. Between April and August, police arrested nine other people including independent blogger Pham Chi Thanh, land rights activists Nguyen Thi Tam, and former political prisoner Can Thi Theu and her sons Trinh Ba Phuong and Trinh Ba Tu. In October, police arrested prominent rights blogger Pham Doan Trang. All 10 were charged with anti-state propaganda under article 117 of the penal code.

Complete text: World Report 2021: Vietnam | Human Rights Watch (


Everything you need to know about human rights in Viet Nam 2020 - Amnesty International Amnesty International

Wherever Communism goes, oppression follows.


Compare the human rights record of today’s Vietnam to the Republic of Vietnam, no contest which is worse in terms of human rights. But of course the class struggle, in which the Stalinist government of Vietnam is on the anticommunist side, goes on.