Two men charged for inciting riots over mass fish deaths

By Huong Giang   May 2, 2016 | 01:54 am PT
Two men charged for inciting riots over mass fish deaths
Tam and Son in custody. Photo by Huong Giang
Vietnamese police have arrested and charged two men for publishing photos about the mass fish deaths online with the "intention of sparking protests" in central provinces, where people's livelihoods have been severely affected.

Police in Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces said they are holding Truong Minh Tam (46) and Chu Manh Son (27) in custody pending further investigation. The two suspects are accused of gathering information and photographs to publish on the internet with the aim of inciting protests.

Tam and Son are accused of being hired by overseas organizations to take photos and film "sensitive" events, interview anti-state people and publish the collected materials on social media to "incite people" to stage demonstrations. The investigators said Tam got paid $400 a month for the “job”.

Police said Tam and Son went to the Vung Ang Economic Zone in Ha Tinh and Quang Binh to carry out their agenda, which has made the security situation in the provinces "more complicated". Police seized vehicles and equipment the two suspects allegedly used to gather information.

The case is under further investigation.

Mass fish deaths in central Vietnam were first reported at the beginning of April. As of April 25, 70 tons of mostly demersal fish had died in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue, according to official reports from the provinces.

The Prime Minister has urged the ministries to find the exact cause of the disaster, while estimating the damage caused by the fish deaths and proposing support policies for affected households.

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