Sunday, 09 July 2017 06:00

    A blogger in Vietnam will spend 10 years in jail for comments about a Taiwan-owned factory's chemical spill

    Written by
    Rate this item
    (0 votes)

    HANOI — Vietnamese activist blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh — better known by her pen name Mother Mushroom — was sentenced in court Thursday to 10 years imprisonment for "propagating" against the state following a devastating chemical spill at a Taiwan-owned steel factory.

    "This is an extreme injustice and cruelty given out by the authoritarian (government) as they want to silence my daughter," Quynh's mother, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Lan, told dpa after she attended the trial.

    Quynh, 38, was arrested in October in Khanh Hoa province.

    She had criticized the government's response to last year's catastrophic chemical spill at the Formosa Ha Tinh Steel factory, which decimated fisheries along the north central coast in Ha Tinh province.

    The plant is owned by Taiwanese industrial giant Formosa Plastics Group.

    The 2016 incident saw over 200 kilometers of Vietnam's coast polluted with toxic waste. The spill devastated the affected area's residents, who strongly rely on fishing and tourism. In response, the plant paid US$500 million in compensation.

    Quynh was formally charged on June 2 for "conducting propaganda against the state of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam," a charge that carries up to 20 years in prison.

    The trial, access to which was heavily restricted, lasted one day. Trinh Kim Tien, an activist who travelled from Ho Chi Minh City to attempt to attend, said the area around the courthouse was blocked off.


    "This sentence is an act of inhumanity, they defy public opinion and people," she said.


    Lan said the verdict would be hard for the family.


    "At the trial, my daughter apologized to me and our relatives for having to separate our family for such a long time, but she said if she could go back in time and had a choice, she would still go on the way she has chosen to fight for justice and democracy," she said.


    Quynh's activism won her the U.S. State Department's Women of Courage award in March. She was not able to collect her award, however, which would have been presented by U.S. first lady Melania Trump.


    Prior to the verdict, the New York-based Human Rights Watch called her trial "outrageous."


    "The scandal here is not what Mother Mushroom said, but Hanoi's stubborn refusal to repeal draconian, rights-abusing laws that punish peaceful dissent and tarnish Vietnam's international reputation," Phil Robertson, the rights group's deputy Asia director said.


    Vietnam, which is ruled by a single party communist state, has outlawed dissent against the government. An Amnesty International report in 2016 listed 91 prisoners of conscience in the country, although the government denies holding political prisoners.


    Speaking at a Thursday press conference in Hanoi while the trial was ongoing, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang defended the charges, saying that the prosecution was in accordance with Vietnamese law.

    Read 11 times Last modified on Sunday, 09 July 2017 21:09

    Leave a comment

    Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

    Most popular...

    • Uber must pay tax for drivers in Vietnam: finance ministry
      Uber must pay tax for drivers in Vietnam: finance ministry

      The Netherlands-based Uber BV will have to pay taxes owed both by itself and its drivers, the Vietnamese finance ministry has decided.
      Uber BV issues invoices for rides and handles revenues in Vietnam, but pays no taxes.
      According to the decision, the taxi hailing company will have to authorize its subsidiary in Vietnam or a third party to declare and pay those taxes.

      Written on Friday, 07 July 2017 06:00 in Business Be the first to comment! Read 19 times Read more...
    • PM speeds up City metro work
      PM speeds up City metro work

      The total investment for Metro Line No 1 in HCM City after three adjustments has increased from VNĐ14.415 trillion ($631 million) to VNĐ47.325 trillion ($2.07 billion). The PM has agreed to advance ODA capital for the project. — VNS Photo Bồ Xuân Hiệp
      Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has agreed to advance Official Development Assistance (ODA) capital for the Metro Line No 1 Bến Thành – Suối Tiên to meet the project’s schedule.

      Written on Sunday, 09 July 2017 06:00 in Infrastructure Be the first to comment! Read 16 times Read more...
    • Vietnamese software firms consider Japan as the major market
      Vietnamese software firms consider Japan as the major market

      The Japanese software market is really attractive in the eyes of Vietnamese software outsourcing firms, but Vietnamese firms always have to struggle to penetrate the lucrative market. According to Vinasa (Vietnam Software and IT Service Association), up to 80 percent of Vietnamese firms consider Japan as the core market when doing the outsourcing for foreign partners. Of these, only five percent of businesses has been exploiting the Japanese market, 20 percent of businesses consider Japan as the main market, and 55 percent consider Japan as one of their main markets.

      Written on Friday, 07 July 2017 06:00 in Business Be the first to comment! Read 15 times Read more...
    • Vietnam Renews India Oil Deal in Tense South China Sea
      Vietnam Renews India Oil Deal in Tense South China Sea

      Vietnam has extended an Indian oil concession in the South China Sea and begun drilling in another area it disputes with China in moves that could heighten tensions over who owns what in the vital maritime region.
      The moves come at a delicate time in Beijing's relations with Vietnam, which claims parts of the sea, and India, which recently sent warships to monitor the Malacca Straits, through which most of China's energy supplies and trade passes.
      Vietnam granted Indian oil firm ONGC Videsh a two-year extension to explore oil block 128 in a letter that arrived earlier this week, the state-run company's managing director Narendra K. Verma told Reuters.
      Part of that block is in the U-shaped 'nine-dash line' which marks the vast area that China claims in the sea, a route for more than $5 trillion in trade each year in which the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan also have claims.

      Written on Sunday, 09 July 2017 06:00 in Business Be the first to comment! Read 15 times Read more...
    • Victor Vũ’s new movie set in Quảng Bình
      Victor Vũ’s new movie set in Quảng Bình

      QUẢNG BÌNH — A large part of the movie Người Bất Tử (The Immortal), directed by Vietnamese American director Victor Vũ, will be shot in the magnificent caves of Quảng Bình Province.

      The Vietnamese movie, scheduled to be released in 2018, will be filmed in 52 days in Hà Nội; the central provinces of Hà Nam, Hưng Yên and Quảng Bình; HCM City; and the southern provinces of Tiền Giang and Đồng Nai, revealed production director Trần Thị Bích Ngọc.

      The footage filmed in central province of Quảng Bình will make up around 70 per cent of the movie. It will be shot in several caves including Phong Nha and Tú Làn, Đồng Hới City and Quy Đạt, Bố Trạch and Tuyên Hóa districts, capturing the scenic landscapes and the beauty of the cave system in Quảng Bình.

      Written on Sunday, 09 July 2017 06:00 in Culture Be the first to comment! Read 14 times Read more...


    © 2017 Eyes on Vietnam. All Rights Reserved. Designed By Lennart

    Please publish modules in offcanvas position.