Justice For Vietnamese Fishermen

Justice For Vietnamese Fishermen

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Nancy Bui started this petition

The Formosa toxic spill that occurred in Central Vietnam in 2016 is one of the worst environmental disasters that struck Vietnam ever. 

The Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation, a subsidiary of the Taiwanese firm Formosa Plastics, admitted responsibility for the release of toxic chemicals and agreed to pay 500 million USD in compensation. Unfortunately, Formosa paid the Vietnamese government instead of the victims.

So far, the impacted fishermen and their families have not been compensated fairly. When they sued the Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp., their cases were dismissed and when they tried to appeal, many of them were arrested, brutally beaten, and even imprisoned with heavy sentences ranging from 5 to 20 years. Currently, more than twenty victims are in prison only because they were seeking justice.
With assistance from overseas Vietnamese and organizations such as the Justice for Formosa’s Victims Association in the United States, in June 2019, 7,874 victims have filed a lawsuit against the Formosa Plastic Group in Taiwanese Court.

As a request from Formosa’s Attorney, in May 2020 Supreme Court required the Plaintiffs authenticate their Power of Attorneys (POA), which allows individuals to authorize other people to represent or act on their behalf. This decision was deemed legitimate by the Supreme Court for a small number of Vietnamese plaintiffs who live in Taiwan. Thus, they were allowed to continue with the lawsuit against the 13 Taiwan-based defendants, including the parent company, Formosa Plastics Corp, but not against the foreign-based defendants (Formosa USA and Formosa Ha Tinh)

However, most of the Plaintiffs who live in Vietnam found themselves excluded from the case before the Taiwan Court, because to get a POA authenticated to sue Formosa is almost impossible to fulfill.

We condemn the Vietnamese government that failed to address the country's worst environmental disaster. We condemn the violence they used against the victims. We also condemn Formosa Plastics for making a deal with the Vietnamese government to avoid their responsibility.

We urge the Taiwan government to lower or remove legal barriers for foreign plaintiffs in transnational litigations and ensure access to justice.

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