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Press Release — Vietnam: HRF Condemns Jailing of 22-Year-Old Blogger: The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) strongly condemns the conviction and sentencing of Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Van Hoa on the charge of “conducting anti-state propaganda” for his participation in environmental protests. Nguyen was sentenced to seven years in prison in a closed trial, during which he did not have legal representation. Nguyen was arrested after authorizing an internet posting about a 2016 chemical spill that greatly impacted the livelihood of fishermen along the coast of central Vietnam, causing an uproar in local communities. Though the Taiwanese company that caused the spill, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation, was fined for the incident, it received prime coastal property from the Vietnamese government in return for the fine.

“Mr. Nguyen did nothing more than voice his opinion about an environmental catastrophe of historic proportions. In retribution, the Vietnamese state has staged a sham trial to silence him,” said HRF president Thor Halvorssen. “Young activists such as Mr. Nguyen should not be punished for having the bravery to speak out. The Communist regime in Vietnam must vacate Mr. Nguyen’s wrongful conviction and release him immediately.”

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Press Release — Vietnam: HRF Condemns Jailing of 22-Year-Old Blogger: The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) strongly condemns the conviction and sentencing of Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Van Hoa on the charge of “conducting anti-state propaganda” for his participation in environmental protests. Nguyen was sentenced to seven years in prison in a closed trial, during which he did not have legal representation. Nguyen was arrested after authorizing an internet posting about a 2016 chemical spill that greatly impacted the livelihood of fishermen along the coast of central Vietnam, causing an uproar in local communities. Though the Taiwanese company that caused the spill, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation, was fined for the incident, it received prime coastal property from the Vietnamese government in return for the fine.“Mr. Nguyen did nothing more than voice his opinion about an environmental catastrophe of historic proportions. In retribution, the Vietnamese state has staged a sham trial to silence him,” said HRF president Thor Halvorssen. “Young activists such as Mr. Nguyen should not be punished for having the bravery to speak out. The Communist regime in Vietnam must vacate Mr. Nguyen’s wrongful conviction and release him immediately.”