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30 Apr 2018

Radio Free Asia

Vietnam: Fourteen-year jail term of activist against Formosa Plastics waste spill upheld on appeal

"Vietnamese Environmental Activist's Sentence Upheld on Appeal", 24 April 2018

An appeals court in Vietnam...upheld a 14-year prison term...to environmental activist Hoang Duc Binh, sending him back to prison to serve his sentence....

He was arrested...by police officers who dragged him from a car more than a year after organizing protests over the government’s response to a waste spill the year before by a Taiwan-owned Formosa Plastics Group steel plant.

The spill killed an estimated 115 tons of fish and left fishermen jobless in four coastal provinces.

...Binh’s lawyer Ha Huy Son said that prosecutors had failed both in Binh’s initial trial and...appeal hearing to present direct evidence against him.

“He told me that before his appearance in the lower court, he had been kept in a cell with prisoners under sentence of death, who had physically attacked him,” Son said.

...Phil Robertson, Deputy Asia Director for Human Rights Watch, said that Binh’s only “crime” has been to demand that Vietnam’s government respect human rights.

“...[I]nternational trade partners and donors should publicly pressure Vietnam to end its intensifying crackdown against activists...” Robertson said.

Part of the following stories

Vietnam: Fish deaths blamed on Formosa Plastics; Taiwan Court dismisses Vietnamese farmers' lawsuit over environmental damage

Formosa Plastics lawsuit (re marine pollution in Vietnam, filed in Vietnam)