Vietnam has jailed this top climate activist for three years for “tax evasion”.
50-year-old Hoang Thi Minh Hong is one of Vietnam’s most prominent climate activists.
In 2013, Hong founded CHANGE, an environmental group, to get people in Vietnam, in particular young people, to take action on environmental issues.
But she shut down the group in 2022 after four activists were jailed for tax evasion.
She was detained in May and accused of dodging about US$275,000 in taxes related to CHANGE from 2012 to 2022.
On Thursday Sep. 28, Hong was found guilty and fined 100 million dong (or about US$4,100) in a trial that lasted only 3 hours.
This makes her the fifth climate activist to be jailed over tax evasion in the country.
In Vietnam, there is no specific law for NGOs to pay tax on overseas donations, and the country has used the ambiguous law to charge climate activists.
Human rights groups condemned the ruling, calling it an example of the Vietnamese government weaponizing the law to target activists