Repression has been carried out in part through a legal system that protects the Party’s absolute authority and denies basic civil rights to Vietnamese citizens. The Constitution categorically affirms the supreme leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam over both the state and the people. All basic rights including freedom of speech, opinion, press, assembly, and association are restricted. Independent unions are prohibited. Religious organizations must register with the government and operate under strict bureaucratic supervision. Socio-political groups disliked by the government can be easily shut down.