Vietnamese environmentalist sentenced to 3 years in prison for tax evasion

Hoang Thi Minh Hong, the prominent Vietnamese environmentalist, was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of tax evasion at the end of a brief trial in Ho Chi Minh City on Sept. 28.

Members of the diplomatic community who attempted to attend the trial were denied access.

Hong, who is an Obama Foundation Scholar, was arrested in the city May 31 in a move that shocked the country’s already-depleted civil society.

In 2013, she founded the Center of Hands-on Action and Networking for Growth and Environment (CHANGE), an NGO that led campaigns to raise awareness of the dangers of wildlife trafficking and air pollution, among other environmental issues.

CHANGE shut down in late 2022 under increasing government pressure on Vietnamese NGOs, particularly those focusing on the environment and issues related to energy policy.

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