Formosa: Mass fish death in more than 200km of Vietnamese coast: Vietnamese blogger jailed for environmental reports

Activist Nguyen Van Hoa (C) stood trial at a local people's court

Formosa’s Environmental Disaster

Mass fish death in more than 200km (125 miles) of Vietnamese coast

 Vietnamese blogger jailed for environmental reports

BBC Click HERE 28 November 2017

A Vietnam court has jailed an environmental blogger for seven years for conducting « propaganda against the state ».

Nguyen Van Hoa had blogged about a toxic spill from Taiwanese Formosa Plastics steel plant in April 2016.

The spill polluted more than 200km (125 miles) of coast and sparked rare protests in the Communist country.

A court in central Ha Tinh province said on Monday that Hoa, 22, had produced videos calling for protests.

Vietnam has tight media censorship and its one-party regime frequently jails critics.

Hoa was arrested in April for publishing anti-government content.

After massive fish deaths in April 2016, protesters took to the streets calling for a government-led investigation into one of the worst environmental disasters for the country.

Formosa Ha Tinh Steel admitted that toxic waste released into the sea had caused the fish deaths and the company agreed to pay $500m (£371m) in compensation, Vietnamese officials said in June 2016.

The government has said it will prosecute identified Formosa protesters for « causing public disorder ».

According to US-based Human Rights Watch, at least 105 people are currently serving prisons terms for expressing critical views of the government and taking part in peaceful protests.

The ruling against Nguyen Van Hoa has been criticised on social media by some in the country.

« A person’s ideals can only be reflected by his actions. Hoa proved that when he was not indifferent to the ruined landscape after the Formosa environmental disaster, » Pham Le Vuong Cac wrote on Facebook from Ho Chi Minh City.

His post was shared 59 times, in a country where social media is increasingly used as a platform to voice criticism but also carries risks.

Vietnamese American novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen also commented on the case on Twitter.

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