Arbitrary arrests and prosecutions of human rights defenders significantly increased, with a record number of prisoners of conscience documented. Individuals who expressed themselves online were particularly targeted. Pro-democracy activists, independent journalists, authors and publishers faced sustained harassment, physical assault, arbitrary prosecution and torture and other ill-treatment in police custody. Authorities issued death sentences and executions were carried out. Violence against women remained a persistent and widespread concern. Viet Nam won praise for its COVID-19 response, effectively containing the spread of the virus. However, the authorities’ punishment for distributing “disinformation” on the pandemic often amounted to arbitrary restrictions on the right to freedom of expression.
Death penalty status
Retains the death penalty in law
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