Vietnam’s human rights record remains dire in all key areas. A one-party communist state suppresses virtually all forms of political dissent, using a broad array of repressive measures. Freedom of expression, association and assembly are tightly controlled. The police routinely use torture and beatings to extract confessions and punish detainees. Religious minorities and activists are harassed, intimidated and imprisoned. The criminal justice system lacks independence and operates under the direction of the government and party. State-run drug rehabilitation centers exploit detainees as forced laborers making goods for local markets and export. Despite the pressure, increasing numbers of courageous bloggers and activists are vocal in calling for democracy and greater freedoms.