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1 Nov 2017

Radio Free Asia

Vietnam: Formosa activist faces suit for "abusing democratic freedoms"; penalty ranges from two to seven years in jail

"Vietnam to Try Formosa Activist on 'Abusing Democratic Freedoms' Charge, 02 November 2017

Hoang Duc Binh...more than a year after organizing protests over the government's response to the...waste spill by Taiwan-owned Formosa Plastics Group's steel plant, which killed an estimated 115 tons of fish and left fishermen jobless in four coastal provinces.

Binh is to be prosecuted under paragraph 2, Article 258 of the Vietnam Penal Code for "abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the state, the legitimate rights and interests of organizations and/or citizens," and could face between two and seven years in jail, his defense lawyer confirmed.

"I have received the investigation result which was completed on October 30. His family also knows about this but I don't know what they think yet," said Attorney Ha Huy Son.

"Lawyers have not been allowed to meet with him for two weeks..." added Son.

Binh is the vice president of an independent civic organization called "The Labor Movement of Vietnam," which aims to help workers, and a member of the group called "No-U Saigon" a group that protests China's sweeping claims on the South China Sea.

The prosecution of Binh comes amid a major crackdown by Hanoi's ruling Communist Party authorities on rights defenders, bloggers and other dissenters.


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