Thứ Ba, 23 tháng 4, 2013

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012 in Vietnam




The process of promoting human rights movement to Vietnam in recent years has brought encouraging results not only for Vietnamese Democratic Human Rights Activist but also is a good sign for the excited people both in Vietnam and abroad. The annual report of the U.S. State Department on human rights conditions in the world for the first time is strong criticism and realistically about human rights abuses in Vietnam compared with the report the previous years. We would like to send to you, near and far friends and fellow country the details report  from the department of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor of the U.S. State Department refers to the case of The human rights violations of communist Vietnam government in recent years.

Hope to start promising above, the violations of human rights in Vietnam will have the opportunity to change direction well under the intense pressure of political, diplomatic and economic policies that related to the human rights conditions from the Washington administration for Vietnam now and in the future. Embargoes, sanctions and incentives are extremely proper policies and effective that the U.S. government and Western countries should be applied thoroughly to encourage the communist countries or countries which are still exists in the policy rule people harsh, brutal and dictator that includes Vietnam shall have to consider the worst human rights record in his country.




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 2011, were neither free nor fair. Security forces reported to civilian authorities.
The most significant human rights problems in the country continued to be 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 a fair and expeditious trial. Political influence, endemic corruption, and inefficiency continued to distort the judicial system significantly. The government increasingly limited freedoms of speech and press and suppressed dissent; further restricted Internet freedom; reportedly continued to be involved in attacks against Web sites containing criticism; maintained spying on dissident bloggers; and continued to limit privacy rights and freedoms of assembly, association, and movement. Vietnamese who exercise their right to freedom of religion continued to be subject to harassment, differing interpretations and applications of the law, and inconsistent legal protection, 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 gender-biased sex selection and sexual exploitation of children. There was also some societal discrimination based on ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and HIV/AIDS status. The government maintained limits on workers’ rights to form and join independent unions and did not enforce safe and healthy working conditions adequately. Child labor persisted.
The government inconsistently took steps to prosecute and punish officials who committed abuses, and members of the police sometimes acted with impunity.

Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:Share

a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life

There were no reports that the government or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings, but there were reports of 16 deaths of persons in custody during the year as well as abuses of lethal force. For example, in March police found Le Quang Trong dead while in detention at the Can Loc Village police station for allegedly participating in the breaking-in and entering of a private home in Ha Tinh Province. According to police reports, Trong hanged himself and “committed suicide by strangulation.” Family members and villagers disagreed and attacked the police station demanding that police be held accountable. The mob destroyed two police vehicles and injured two officers. The case remained under investigation at year’s end.
On April 28, prison guards Nguyen Van Khoa and Vo Thanh Phuong beat to death Duong Chi Dung, a prisoner at A2 Dong Gang Prison in Khanh Hoa Province. An internal police investigation found they used “excessive force,” and authorities permanently dismissed them from the police and expelled them from the CPV. In a subsequent trial in September, the Khanh Hoa People’s Court sentenced Phuong to five years’ imprisonment and Khoa to four years’ imprisonment.
In the March 2011 case of the beating death of Trinh Xuan Tung, who was in detention for a traffic violation in Hanoi, the Hanoi People’s Court convicted Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Van Ninh in January and sentenced him to four years in prison. On July 17, the Supreme People’s Court refused Ninh’s appeal and affirmed the sentence.
In the April 2011 case of local police officers accused of beating Nguyen Cong Nhut to death after detaining him for five days for allegedly stealing tires, the Dong Nai Province People’s Court concluded in February that Nhut committed suicide. Nhut’s family appealed the ruling, and the case remained under investigation at year’s end.

b. Disappearance

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances.
There continued to be no information on the whereabouts of both Thich Tri Khai, a monk from the unregistered Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam whom authorities arrested in 2008, and Le Tri Tue, a founder of the Independent Workers’ Union whom authorities placed in custody in 2007.
On March 2, the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances reported one inquiry transmitted to the government. There was no apparent response as of year’s end.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The law prohibits physical abuse, but police commonly mistreated suspects during arrest or detention, and drug detention-center personnel abused detainees as well. Security officials attacked journalists (see section 2.a.).
In April, police in Nghe An Province suspected Bui Huu Vu of involvement in a burglary and detained him after he turned himself in. Local police claimed to have found Vu unconscious in his cell. Taken by his family to the hospital, Vu died hours later. Family members contended that bruises and wounds on Vu’s body and face indicated that police beat him. The case remained under investigation at year’s end.
Land-rights protesters in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, and several provinces in the Mekong Delta continued to report instances of physical harassment and intimidation by local authorities. Most incidents between local authorities and ethnic minorities involved land, money, or domestic disputes. For example, in March police and local authorities from Dak Nong Province, Central Highlands, traveled repeatedly to Hanoi to convince members of an ethnic M’Nong delegation to return home and rescind their lawsuit alleging government confiscation of land without proper compensation. Fearing reprisal from local authorities, Dieu Xri, head of the M’Nong group, refused to return home.
The government reported in early 2012 that more than 43,016 drug users--the large majority of whom were administratively assigned to forced detoxification without judicial review--were living in the 121 drug-detention centers countrywide. According to the government, the stated facility population, approximately a one-third increase compared with 2011, did not exceed the intended capacity of the centers, which had separate facilities for women. At these centers, according to a September 2011 report from a nongovernmental organization (NGO), authorities allegedly forced individuals to perform menial work under harsh conditions and mistreated them (see section 7.b.). A July update to the NGO report highlighted one man’s experience of being caught in a police roundup of drug users in Ho Chi Minh City and held in a detention center for four years without due process.
The Law on Administrative Review, passed in October in response to domestic and international criticism and scheduled to become effective in January 2013, provides for judicial review of detentions of drug users, juveniles in administrative detention, and individuals in “reeducation centers.” Review procedures remained to be elaborated. The law also calls for the abolition of mandatory detention centers for sex workers in 2014.

Prison and Detention Center Conditions

Prison conditions were austere but generally not life-threatening. Overcrowding, insufficient diet, lack of access to potable water, and poor sanitation remained serious problems. State control of the media restricted reporting on living conditions.
Physical Conditions: The number of prisoners and detainees was not publicly available, but the NGO International Center for Prison Studies reported that the prison population as of mid-2011, excluding pretrial detainees, totaled 113,018, of whom 10.9 percent were women. Authorities generally held juveniles in prison separately from adults, but on rare occasions, juveniles were held in detention with adults for short periods due to the unavailability of space.
Authorities typically sent political prisoners to specially designated prisons that also held other regular criminals, and in most cases, kept political prisoners separate from nonpolitical prisoners. Authorities completely isolated some high-profile political prisoners from all others.
Prisoners had access to basic health care, although in many cases officials prevented family members from providing medication to prisoners. In April Tang Hong Phuc and Huynh Dinh Hung died in Chi Hoa Prison, Ho Chi Minh City, of lung disease. In June the Judicial Committee of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council inspected Chi Hoa Prison and reported deteriorating conditions, dilapidated cells in death row, and serious overcrowding. In addition, family members of imprisoned activists who experienced health problems claimed medical treatment was inadequate and resulted in greater long-term health complications.
Prisoners generally were required to work but received no wages. Authorities sometimes placed prisoners in solitary confinement and deprived them of reading and writing materials for periods of up to several months. Family members continued to make credible claims that prisoners received benefits by paying bribes to prison officials or undertaking hunger strikes.
Administration: While prison sentences could be extremely lengthy, authorities did not force prisoners to serve beyond the maximum sentence for their charged offenses. There were no prison ombudsmen and no consideration of alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders. Prison administrators did not keep adequate records, and at times statistics were contradictory.
Authorities limited prisoners to one 30-minute family visit per month and generally permitted family members to give supplemental food and bedding to prisoners. However, family members of political prisoners also reported increased government surveillance and harassment by security officials as well as interference with their work, school, and financial activities. In addition, authorities allowed foreign diplomats to make one limited prison visit during the year to meet with one prominent prisoner.
In March authorities transferred Tran Anh Kim, Nguyen Xuan Nghia, and Pham Van Troi--designated by the NGO Human Rights Watch as prisoners of conscience--from Nam Ha Prison near Hanoi to the Number 6 Detention Camp, Nghe An Province, Central Highlands. The increased distance made it difficult for family members to visit.
Prisoners did not have the right to practice their religion in public or to have access to religious books and scriptures, although authorities allowed Roman Catholic priest and democracy activist Thaddeus Nguyen Van Ly (rearrested in July 2011) to keep a Bible, pray, and give communion to fellow prisoners. Prisoners were allowed to submit uncensored complaints to prison management and judicial authorities, but their complaints were routinely ignored.
Monitoring: Although permitted, the International Committee of the Red Cross neither requested nor carried out prison visits during the year.

d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention

The law allows the government to detain persons without charge indefinitely under vague “national security” provisions. The government also continued to arrest and detain individuals indefinitely under other legal provisions and subjected several activists throughout the country to administrative detention or house arrest.

Role of the Police and Security Apparatus

Internal security is the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Security, although in some remote areas, the military is the primary government agency and performs public safety functions, including maintaining public order in the event of civil unrest. The ministry controls the police, a special national security investigative agency, and other internal security units. It also maintains a system of household registration and block wardens to monitor the population. While this system was less intrusive than in the past, the ministry continued to monitor individuals suspected of engaging, or being likely to engage, in unauthorized political activities. Credible reports suggested that local police continued to use contract thugs and citizen brigades to harass and beat political activists and others, including religious worshippers, perceived as undesirable or a threat to public security.
Police organizations exist at the provincial, district, and local levels and are subject to the authority of people’s committees at each level. At the commune level, it is common for guard forces composed of residents to assist the police. The police were generally effective at maintaining public order, but police capabilities, especially investigative, were generally very limited, and training and resources were inadequate. Several foreign governments continued to assist in training provincial police and prison management officials to improve their professionalism.

Arrest Procedures and Treatment While in Detention

The law outlines the process by which individuals should be taken into custody and treated until authorities adjudicate their cases. The Supreme People’s Procuracy (Public Prosecutor’s Office) issues arrest warrants, generally at the request of police. However, police may make an arrest without a warrant based on a complaint filed by any person. The procuracy issues retroactive warrants in such cases. The procuracy must issue a decision to initiate a formal criminal investigation of a detainee within nine days; otherwise, police must release the suspect. Authorities often circumvented the nine-day regulation.
Arbitrary Arrest: Arbitrary arrest and detention, particularly for political activists, remained a problem. According to activist groups and diplomatic sources, the government sentenced at least 35 arrested activists during the year to a total of 131 years in jail and 27 years of probation for exercising their rights. Authorities also increasingly charged political dissidents with “attempting to overthrow the government” (Article 79) due to their alleged membership in political parties other than the CPV. While violators of this legal provision had the possibility of receiving the death penalty, they typically received prison sentences of up to 10 years. The government also used decrees, ordinances, and other measures to detain activists for the peaceful expression of opposing political views (see section 2.a.).
Authorities also arrested individuals on allegations of revealing state secrets, subversion, taking advantage of democratic freedoms to infringe upon the government’s interest, and other crimes as a means to suppress political dissent and public advocacy. For example, in September police summoned, questioned, and detained several activists and bloggers who attempted to attend the trial of blogger Nguyen Van Hai (also known as Dieu Cay) (see also section 2.a.). Police reportedly acted similarly a day before Nguyen Van Hai’s appeal trial in December.
On October 3, 20 plainclothes and uniformed police officials harassed Hanoi dissident lawyer Le Quoc Quan’s brother, Le Dinh Quan, in his office; seized his personal documents; and temporarily detained and harassed his staff members. Bloggers reported that security officials linked Le Quoc Quan to the Quan Lam Bao (State Officials’ Press) blog allegedly labeled as “hostile to government officials” by the prime minister (see also section 2.a.). On December 27, police arrested Le Quoc Quan on charges of tax evasion, an action linked by bloggers to his continued calls for democratic reforms, and were detaining him at year’s end. (See also section 1.e. regarding an August 19 assault on Le Quoc Quan, section 1.f. regarding police entry of his home, and section 2.d. about restrictions imposed on his travel.)
Peaceful protests continued during the year in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to oppose Chinese sovereignty claims in the South China Sea (East Sea) and resulted in the temporary detention and surveillance of several protest organizers. There were also reports that local security officials prevented individuals from leaving their homes to take part in the demonstrations.
Authorities also subjected religious and political activists to varying degrees of informal detention in their residences. For example, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi police continued to monitor prominent activists Nguyen Dan Que, Nguyen Van Dai, and Do Nam Hai closely.
Pretrial Detention: The investigative period typically lasted from three months for less serious offenses (punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment) to 16 months for exceptionally serious offenses (punishable by more than 15 years’ imprisonment or capital punishment) or more than two years for national security cases. However, at times investigations lasted indefinitely. By law the procuracy may also request additional two-month periods of detention after an investigation to consider whether to prosecute a detainee or ask police to investigate further. Investigators sometimes continued to use physical abuse, isolation, excessively lengthy interrogation sessions, and sleep deprivation to compel detainees to confess.
By law detainees are permitted access to lawyers from the time of their detention; however, authorities continued their use of bureaucratic delays to deny access to legal counsel. In cases investigated under national security laws, authorities prohibited defense lawyers’ access to clients until after an investigation ended and the suspect was formally charged with a crime, most often after approximately four months. Under regulations, investigations may be continued and access to counsel denied for more than two years. In addition, a scarcity of trained lawyers and insufficient protection of defendant rights made prompt detainee access to an attorney rare. Only juveniles and persons formally charged with capital crimes were assigned lawyers.
Authorities must inform attorneys of and allow them to attend interrogations of their clients. However, a defendant first must request the presence of a lawyer, and it remained unclear whether authorities always informed defendants of this right. Authorities also must give attorneys access to case files and permit them to copy documents. Attorneys were sometimes able to exercise these rights.
Police generally informed families of detainees’ whereabouts, but family members could visit a detainee only with the permission of the investigator, and this permission was not regularly granted. During the investigative period, authorities routinely denied detainees access to family members, especially in national security cases. Before a formal indictment, detainees have the right to notify family members, although a number of detainees suspected of national security violations were held incommunicado. There is no functioning bail system or equivalent system of conditional release. Time spent in pretrial detention counts toward time served upon conviction and sentencing.
Courts may sentence persons to administrative detention of up to five years after completion of a sentence. In addition, police or mass organizations may propose that one of five “administrative measures” be imposed by people’s committee chairs at district and provincial levels without a trial. The measures include terms ranging from six to 24 months in either juvenile reformatories or adult detention centers. Authorities generally applied such measures to repeat offenders with a record of minor offenses, such as committing petty theft or “humiliating other persons.” Terms of 24 months were standard for drug users and prostitutes. Individuals sentenced to detention facilities were forced to meet work quotas to pay for services and detention costs. Committee chairs may also impose terms of “administrative probation,” which generally took the form of restriction on movement and travel. Authorities continued to punish some individuals using vaguely worded national security provisions of law.
Amnesty: For the first time in contemporary memory, the government limited public announcement of its traditional National Day amnesty to the provincial and district levels. A limited number of provinces proceeded with fewer releases than usual and instead reduced individual sentences.

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial

The law provides for the independence of judges and lay assessors, but the CPV controlled the courts at all levels through its effective control of judicial appointments and other mechanisms and in many cases, by determining verdicts. As in past years, political influence, endemic corruption, and inefficiency strongly distorted the judicial system. Most, if not all, judges were members of the CPV and chosen at least in part for their political views. The party’s influence was particularly notable in high-profile cases and other instances in which authorities charged a person with challenging or harming the party or state.
There continued to be a shortage of trained lawyers and judges. The Vietnam Bar Federation falls under the supervision of the CPV’s Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF), an umbrella group that monitors the country’s mass organizations, and is closely coordinated with the Ministry of Justice and the Vietnam Lawyers Association. The federation, which oversees local bar association functions, continued to develop a professional code of conduct for lawyers.

Trial Procedures

The constitution provides that citizens are innocent until proven guilty, although many lawyers complained that judges generally presumed guilt. Trials generally were open to the public, but in sensitive cases judges closed trials or strictly limited attendance. Juries are not used.
The public prosecutor brings charges against an accused person and serves as prosecutor during trials. Defendants have the right to be informed promptly and in detail of the charges levied against them, with free interpretation as necessary, but this was not always implemented. Defendants have the right to be present and have a lawyer at trial, although not necessarily the lawyer of their choice, and this right was generally upheld. Defendants unable to afford a lawyer generally were provided one only in cases involving a juvenile offender or with possible sentences of life imprisonment or capital punishment. Defense lawyers commonly had little time before trials to examine evidence against their clients. The defendant or defense lawyer has the right to cross-examine witnesses, but there were cases in which neither defendants nor their lawyers had access to government evidence in advance of the trial, cross-examined witnesses, or challenged statements. Defendants have the right not to be compelled to confess guilt and the legal option to refrain from testifying. In national security cases, judges occasionally silenced defense lawyers who were making arguments on behalf of their clients in court because the judges deemed the arguments “reactionary.” Convicted persons have the right to appeal. District and provincial courts did not publish their proceedings, but the Supreme People’s Court continued to publish the proceedings of all cases it reviewed.
There continued to be credible reports that authorities pressured defense lawyers not to take as clients any religious or democracy activists facing trial. Authorities also restricted, harassed, arrested, disbarred, and in some cases detained human rights attorneys representing political activists. For example, lawyer Huynh Van Dong, whom the Dak Lak Provincial Bar Association dismissed in August 2011 for defending individuals charged with antistate acts, remained unable to interact with clients or travel in the country. Additionally, given their previous convictions, authorities did not permit lawyers Le Tran Luat, Huynh Van Dong, Le Quoc Quan, and Nguyen Van Dai to practice law. Moreover, on August 19, three men dressed in plainclothes assaulted and injured lawyer Le Quoc Quan in Hanoi.

Political Prisoners and Detainees

There continued to be no precise estimates of the number of political prisoners. The government reportedly held more than 120 political detainees at year’s end, although some international observers claimed there were more (see also sections 1.d. and 2.d.). Diplomatic sources maintained that four reeducation centers in the country held approximately 4,000 prisoners.
For example, in March authorities sentenced Protestant pastor Nguyen Cong Chin, after a one-day trial, to 11 years in prison for “sabotaging national unity” (Article 87) and “having relations with reactionary organizations” (Article 46). Security officials contended that documents seized at Chin’s home were “severely critical” of senior government and military officials.
On May 4, the Dong Nai Province People’s Court sentenced land rights activist Nguyen Ngoc Cuong and his son, Nguyen Ngoc Tuong Thi, to seven years in prison for “propagandizing against the state” (Article 88). Security officials also charged Cuong with receiving approximately 31 million Vietnamese dong (VND) ($1,500) from overseas groups critical of the government.
Authorities also continued to detain and imprison other individuals who used the Internet to publish ideas on human rights, government policies, and political pluralism (see section 2.a.).
Several other political dissidents affiliated with outlawed political organizations--including the People’s Democratic Party, People’s Action Party, Free Vietnam Organization, the Democratic Party of Vietnam, United Workers and Farmers Organization, Bloc 8406, and others--remained in prison or under house arrest in various locations.
For example, on October 30, the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City sentenced Viet Khang (also known as Vo Minh Tri) to four years in prison for propagandizing against the state by composing and singing songs in December 2011 to express his view of the government’s handling of the dispute with China regarding sovereignty in the South China Sea (East Sea). The court also sentenced codefendant Tran Vu Anh Binh to six years’ imprisonment under the same charge.
On March 7, the Nghe An Province People’s Court sentenced Vo Thi Thuy and Nguyen Van Thanh to five and three years’ imprisonment, respectively, for propagandizing against the state. Officials claimed the materials they distributed were associated with imprisoned Roman Catholic priest and activist Thaddeus Nguyen Van Ly’s calls for multiparty elections and in support of prodemocracy Bloc 8406. On May 31, a court reduced Thuy’s five-year sentence on appeal to four years.
During the year authorities released some prominent political and religious activists from prison. For example, in January authorities released Pham Minh Hoang, a dual national and professor at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, and at year’s end he was serving three years of house arrest. Hoang, originally sentenced to three years’ imprisonment and three years’ house arrest for alleged ties to a foreign-based prodemocracy group, had received on appeal a reduced prison sentence of 17 months in November 2011.
In April authorities released political activist Bui Thi Minh Hang from a reeducation camp near Hanoi. Authorities had detained her in November 2011 for participating in “illegal” protests, which included taking part in anti-China demonstrations held in July and August 2011 in Hanoi. After her release, she attempted to file a lawsuit against the chair of the Hanoi People’s Committee for his role in approving the warrant for her arrest without due process and having authorized her sentence. The case allegedly encountered administrative delays and continued at year’s end.
In June authorities released Le Thang Long, arrested in 2009, after he served three years in prison for attempting to overthrow the government. In March 2011 the appellate division of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court reduced Long’s prison sentence from five to three and one-half years. At year’s end Long was serving three years’ probation.

Civil Judicial Procedures and Remedies

There is no clear or effective mechanism for pursuing a civil action to redress or remedy abuses committed by authorities. Civil suits are heard by administrative, civil, and criminal courts, all of which follow the same procedures as in criminal cases, and are adjudicated by members of the same body of judges and lay assessors. All three levels continued to be subject to corruption, lack of independence, and inexperience.
By law a citizen seeking to press a complaint regarding a human rights violation by a civil servant faces difficult barriers. S/he is required first to petition the accused civil servant for permission to refer the complaint to court. If the civil servant refuses a petition, the citizen may appeal to the civil servant’s superior. If the civil servant or his superior accepts the complaint for hearing, an administrative court takes up the matter. If that court agrees that the case should be pursued, it is referred either to a civil court for suits involving physical injury seeking redress of less than 20 percent of health-care costs resulting from the alleged abuse, or to a criminal court for redress of more than 20 percent of such costs. This elaborate system of referral and permission ensured that citizens had little effective recourse to civil or criminal judicial procedures to remedy human rights abuses, and few legal experts had relevant experience. The government continued to disallow the use of class action lawsuits against government ministries, thus rendering ineffective joint complaints from land-rights petitioners.

Property Restitution

The law provides for compensation, housing, and job training for individuals displaced by development projects. However, widespread complaints persisted, including from the National Assembly, of inadequate or delayed compensation, official corruption, and a general lack of transparency in the government’s process of confiscating land and moving citizens to make way for infrastructure projects. Some members of ethnic minority groups in the Central and Northwest Highlands continued to complain that they did not receive proper compensation for land the government confiscated to develop large-scale, state-owned enterprises. In March the National Resources and Environment Ministry and others collected expert opinions preparatory to drafting a new land law.
During the year there were a number of land disputes and related demonstrations involving the government. For example, in January shrimp farmer Doan Van Vuon refused to give up his approximately 99 acres of land in Tien Lang District, Hai Phong Province, and fired upon security officials as they entered his property, alleging that provincial officials attempted to reclaim the land without compensating him for improvements. Authorities detained but released him. On February 10, the prime minister publicly reprimanded Hai Phong officials for mishandling Vuon’s case. Several provincial officials and military officers were immediately dismissed, including Le Van Hie, chair of the Tien Lang District People’s Committee, and his deputy, Nguyen Van Khanh, who directly ordered Vuon’s forced eviction. On October 22, Hai Phong Province police detained Khanh and charged him with destroying private property.
In April approximately one to two thousand local security forces clashed with 300 residents of Van Giang Village, Hung Yen Province, over villager claims that local government officials demolished more than 1,000 households in 2007 to build a residential development known as “ecopark” without providing fair market value compensation. Police detained 20 villagers but released them when they agreed to admit guilt. During the same month, more than 1,000 protesters demonstrated outside the Fatherland Front of Vietnam headquarters in Hanoi to demand fair compensation from the government for ecopark.
During National Assembly debate on the new land law in early November, more than 200 land rights petitioners from eight provinces demonstrated peacefully near the prime minister’s office and called for fair compensation for confiscated land and complaint resolution by local officials.

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence

The law prohibits such actions, but the government did not respect these prohibitions. Household registration and block warden systems existed for the surveillance of all citizens. Authorities continued to focus particular attention on persons suspected of being involved in unauthorized political or religious activities.
Incidents of physical harassment, intimidation, and the questioning of family members by security authorities were reported in several locations, including but not limited to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Bac Giang, Nghe An, and Dong Nai provinces.
Authorities occasionally physically prevented political activists and family members of political prisoners from meeting with foreign diplomats. Tactics included setting up barriers or guards outside diplomats’ residences or calling individuals into local police stations for random and repetitive questioning.
The government continued to pursue a population and reproductive-health strategy that set a target average number of children per couple (see section 6, Women).
Public prosecutorial orders are required for forced entry into homes, although security forces seldom followed procedures to obtain such orders and instead asked permission to enter homes with an implied threat of repercussions for failure to cooperate. During the year police forcibly entered homes of a number of prominent dissidents--such as Bui Thi Minh Hang, Nguyen Thanh Giang, Le Quoc Quan, and Le Tran Luat--and removed personal computers, cell phones, and other material.
Authorities continued to open and censor targeted persons’ mail; confiscate packages and letters; and monitor telephone conversations, e-mail, text messages, blogs, and fax transmissions during the year. The government continued cutting the telephone lines and interrupting the cell phone and Internet service of a number of political activists and their family members.
CPV membership remained a prerequisite to career advancement for all government and government-linked organizations and businesses. However, economic diversification continued to make membership in the CPV and CPV-controlled mass organizations less essential to financial and social advancement

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