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28 Nov 2017

Radio Free Asia

Vietnam court sentences blogger activist Nguyen Van Hoa to seven years in prison for producing videos, photos & articles about Formosa Plastic Group’s release of toxic chemicals

"Vietnam Jails Activist Blogger For Seven Years Over Formosa Protests", 27 November 2017

A court in Vietnam sentenced blogger activist Nguyen Van Hoa to seven years in prison…for “conducting propaganda against the state,” saying he had tried to incite protests over the government’s handling of a devastating toxic waste spill in 2016.

The People’s Court of Ha Tinh province found Hoa, 22, guilty...in a two-and-a-half hour trial and also ruled that he be placed under house arrest for three years after his jail term is complete.

State media reported…that Hoa had produced video, photos, and articles about Taiwan-owned Formosa Plastics Group’s April 2016 release of toxic chemicals from its massive steel plant located at the deep-water port in Ha Tinh for the purpose of “propagating against, distorting and defaming the government.”

The Formosa spill killed an estimated 115 tons of fish and left fishermen and tourism industry workers jobless in four central provinces.

Rights lawyer Le Cong Dinh called the ruling against Hoa a "predetermined judgment that was completely predictable."

He condemned what he said was "a secret trial," saying the court had "tricked people" into thinking that the hearing would take place....

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