Freedom of expression, association and public assembly are tightly controlled in Vietnam. The government does not allow independent media and blocks politically sensitive websites. There are also 29 different crimes that can incur the death penalty, which is still practiced. While other Southeast Asian countries have been reviewing their death penalty laws, Vietnam’s continues to be strongly enforced.
Religious freedom remains elusive for minority religious groups such as the Hoa Hao Buddhists, Cao Dai, the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam and Falun Gong. Hundreds of political prisoners and other prisoners of conscience remain jailed, among others the famous human rights activist Dr. Cu Huy Ha Vu and the journalist Nguyen Van Hai.