A chemical spill that ravaged the shoreline of central Vietnam a year ago had claimed another casualty on Monday when a 22-year-old blogger had been sentenced to seven years in prison.
After a brief, closed trial in Ha Tinh Province, the writer, Nguyen Van Hoa, was found guilty of writing about protests within the toxic spill and dispersing propaganda for videos that were producing, news agencies reported.
The release, which occurred when a new Taiwan-owned steel factory flushed cyanide and other substances via its waste facility, killed marine life and also sickened people along a 120-mile stretch of shoreline. It is one of Vietnam's largest disasters.
Phil Robertson, deputy manager of Human Rights Watch's Asia division, denounced the verdict. "The Annals of Nguyen Van Hoa reveals how profoundly the government's paranoid desire to keep political control is notions of justice and human rights," he said.
He added: "How else could one explain that executives of an international company that poisoned the sea, ruining the coastal economy in four provinces, are free to go about their business while that idealistic young journalist is heading into prison for helping expose their misdeeds?"
Back in June, a court sentenced another blogger, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, much better known as Mother Mushroom, to a decade in prison, too for blogging about the fish kill.
At first, the government provided little information regarding the spill, withholding the names of the poisonous agents even from poisoning victims.
The company, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation, a subsidiary of the giant Formosa Plastics Group, has been finally discovered to be accountable for the spill. To causing the disaster, it was ordered to pay $500 million, and business officials insisted.
Critics accused the government of attempting to guard had received a special deal from officials when obtaining prime property.
The toxic spill deprived fishermen of the livelihoods and set off significant protests across the central coast, which is unusual in Vietnam that was controlled.
Mr. Hoa, who had been arrested in April, is among an increasing number of activists in Vietnam who use Facebook and other online platforms to post videos, photographs, and commentary that are contrary to the government's official position.