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30 Oct 2016

Brooks Boliek, Radio Free Asia

Vietnam: Govt. allegedly tried to prevent mass filing of lawsuits against Formosa Plastics for toxic spill; abduction of drivers & other forms of harassment reported

"Hanoi Moves to Derail Drive to File Lawsuits Against Formosa in Vietnam" 18 Oct 2016

The Vietnamese government is attempting to prevent Catholic parishioners from filing more lawsuits against the Taiwan-owned steel company responsible for a chemical spill that devastated the country’s central coast…

Thousands of parishioners in the central province of Nghe An who were attempting to file new lawsuits…found their way blocked by police, nails strewn across the road and some drivers who were scheduled to take them to the courthouse abducted, witnesses told RFA…

“The situation is very tense because policemen visited all the houses that have cars,” said Catholic Priest Danh Huu Nam, who aids people with the lawsuits. “The police told them that they will crack down on them if they drive the parishioners to the court, and some drivers were kidnapped and harassed.”

While the People’s Court in Ky Anh on Oct. 5 dismissed more than 500 lawsuits filed against the Formosa Plastics Group, that didn’t stop many Vietnamese from trying to gain more compensation from the company.

In June, the Formosa Plastics Group acknowledged that it was responsible for the release of toxic chemicals from a steel plant it owns in April that killed an estimated 115 tons of fish and left fishermen and tourism industry workers jobless in Ha Tinh and three other central provinces…

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)