High-profile environmentalist jailed over tax evasion


A HIGH-profile environmentalist and anti-coal campaigner in Vietnam has been jailed for two years on tax evasion charges, her NGO said.

Nguy Thi Khanh (pic), a globally recognised climate and energy campaigner, was sentenced in Hanoi on Friday, a court official confirmed to AFP without giving any further details.

The 46-year-old – who was arrested in February “on a tax evasion accusation”, according to state-owned media – had been among the few in the communist nation challenging the government’s plans to increase coal power to fuel economic development.

Khanh, the first Vietnamese winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize, had convinced officials to strip 20,000 megawatts of coal power from the national energy plan by 2030.

“From her contribution to Vietnamese society and her works, the verdict given to Khanh was too harsh,” her environmental NGO GreenID said, referring to the two-year sentence for tax evasion charges.

Michael Sutton, the Goldman Environmental Prize executive director, called for Khanh’s release.

“We believe the legal charges against her are part of a wider effort to silence environmental leaders in Vietnam,” said Sutton.

Prior to her detention, Khanh had said she wanted Vietnam to scale back its ambitious coal plans in favour of more renewable energy options.

In a 2020 interview, she acknowledged the risks of her activism.

“When we got global recognition, vested interest groups recognised who their enemy is, and they are very powerful,” she said.

Khanh’s imprisonment comes as raids targeting corrupt officials and those implicated in economic scandals have intensified. — AFP

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!
   

Next In Aseanplus News

Malaysian model Lebara speaks out on Eric Tsang 'birthday kiss' controversy
ADB forecast for Brunei unchanged; economic growth target remains at healthy 3.6 per cent
Indonesia police chief, others removed over soccer disaster; govt to probe other elite police officers over disaster
China seeks to challenge US-led global order with ‘new world view’, analysts say
Police identify more suspects in cosmetics agent kidnapping case
Chinese resort city slaps ‘golden week’ tourists with new Covid-19 restrictions
Xi Jinping may ‘recalibrate’ after miscalculation of siding with Russia, Henry Kissinger says
Ringgit higher against US dollar at close
MetMalaysia issues heavy rain, thunderstorm warning
Japan PM Kishida: Japan, US to hold joint exercises

Others Also Read