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U.S. Department of State: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011

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On May 24, 2012, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of State, submitted the 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices to the United States Congress.

Below is the Report regarding to the Human Rights Practices in Vietnam:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is an authoritarian state ruled by a single party, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) led by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, and President Truong Tan Sang. The most recent National Assembly elections, held in May, were neither free nor fair, since the CPV’s Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF), an umbrella group that monitors the country’s mass organizations, vetted all candidates. Security forces reported to civilian authorities.

The most significant human rights problems in the country were severe government restrictions on citizens’ political rights, particularly their right to change their government; increased measures to limit citizens’ civil liberties; and corruption in the judicial system and police.

Specific human rights abuses included continued police mistreatment of suspects during arrest and detention, including the use of lethal force, as well as austere prison conditions, arbitrary arrest and detention for political activities, and denial of the right to fair and expeditious trial.

Political influence, endemic corruption, and inefficiency strongly distorted the judicial system. The government increasingly limited privacy rights and freedoms of the press, speech, assembly, movement, and association; increasingly suppressed dissent; further restricted Internet freedom; reportedly was involved in attacks against critical Web sites; and spied on dissident bloggers.

Freedom of religion continued to be subject to uneven interpretation and protection, with significant problems continuing, especially at provincial and village levels. Police corruption persisted at various levels. The government maintained its prohibition of independent human rights organizations.

Violence and discrimination against women as well as trafficking in persons continued, as did sexual exploitation of children and some societal discrimination based on ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, and HIV/AIDS status. The government limited workers’ rights to form and join independent unions and inadequately enforced safe and healthy working conditions.

The government inconsistently took steps to prosecute and punish officials who committed abuses, and members of the police sometimes acted with impunity.

Click here to read report in detail: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/186531.pdf