Vietnamese Videographer Gets 7 Years in Jail for Reporting on Toxic Spill in Formosa

This 22-year old videographer, Nguyen Van Hoa, was sentenced to 7 years prison for “anti-state propaganda” by Vietnamese authorities.

He was actually reporting on the Formosa environmental crisis and cover the chemical spill that devastated the coast of central Vietnam last year that make hundreds of fish dead on the Formosa.

The discharge, which occurred when Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation, a subsidiary of the giant Formosa Plastics Group, a new Taiwan-owned steel factory flushed cyanide and other chemicals through its waste pipeline, killed marine life and sickened people along a 120-mile stretch of coastline. It is one of Vietnam’s largest environmental disasters.

Critics accused the government of attempting to protect the company, which they said had received a special deal from officials when acquiring prime coastal property for the factory.

The toxic spill deprived coastal fishermen of their livelihoods and set off major protests along the central coast, which is unusual in tightly controlled Vietnam.

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