Category: Politics

Religious groups vulnerable amid growing repression

The Vietnamese government’s sustained crackdown on dissent is triggering fears amongst religious communities about their own vulnerability to persecution. Some believe that a controversial new religious law passed late last year could leave them exposed to renewed harassment and intimidation…

Violent assaults designed to intimidate young activists

It started as a class for young would-be activists eager to learn about their political rights. It ended a few weeks later with a police raid and vicious assaults on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City. The violent attacks…

Fidel Castro’s death exposes divisions in Vietnam

Vietnam’s call for a day of national mourning for Fidel Castro has exposed ideological divisions in a country that still clings, in name at least, to Marxist-Leninist teaching. For the Communist party, Fidel Castro was a comrade in arms in…

Civil Society in limbo as draft bill shelved

New legislation to regulate civil society organisations in Vietnam has again been postponed, amid warnings of anti-state subversion. The National Assembly had been expected to vote on the latest draft of the bill on associations in the middle of this…

Government spooked by environmental protests

A campaign to demand accountability for one of Vietnam’s worst environmental disasters has triggered a fresh wave of repression from a government already acutely sensitive to criticism. Activists have suffered severe harassment, death threats and arrest for daring to demand…

Former vice-minister warns of political violence

A former senior government official has called for dialogue between the Communist leadership and dissidents, warning that failure to talk could lead to political violence. Chu Hao, a former vice-minister for technology and the environment, said the recent shooting of…

Government gets serious on corruption ?

The Vietnam communist party’s intermittent campaign to tackle corruption in state companies has spluttered into life with the issuance of an international arrest warrant for a former top executive. The public security ministry said the former chairman of PetroVietnam Construction…

China visit raises questions

Vietnam’s precarious diplomatic balancing act continues this week with a six day visit to China by the prime minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, his first since taking office earlier this year. He will stress trade and investment during his visit, but…