A Vietnamese court recently sentenced 22-year-old blogger and journalist Nguyen Van Hoa to seven years in prison for reporting on the 2016 Formosa spill that devastated the Vietnamese coast. Arrested in April, Hoa had produced video footage, photos, and articles about Taiwan-owned Formosa Plastics Group’s April 2016 toxic chemical spill from its steel plant located at the port in Ha Tinh. According to state-run media, he stands accused of “propagating against, distorting and defaming the government.”
The People’s Court of Ha Tinh province found Hoa guilty of violating Article 88 of Vietnam’s Penal Code and also ruled that he be placed under house arrest for three years after his jail term is complete. No attorney was present to represent Hao in the closed trial.