Vietnam recently sentenced Nguyen Van Hao, a 22-year-old blogger, to prison for seven years for reporting on a massive chemical dumping by a steel factory into the ocean. The toxins killed lots of fish and the local fishing industry, but the government tried to cover up the incident by not having the state-run media report much about it.
Seeking environmental justice, Hao posted reports of his own to expose the damage the chemical spill caused, as well the communities protesting the government for allowing this even to happen. The government resented being portrayed in this light, and arrested Hao for "anti-state propaganda."
Hao's imprisonment is outrageous. Hao was merely reporting the truth, and deserves commendation. Locking him up is an obvious attempt to silence other would-be citizen journalists for sharing information the government doesn't like.
The world is now watching Vietnam and calling on the nation to show a commitment to human rights, the environment, and unfettered journalism. We demand Hao's immediate release.