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Large demonstration against polluting steel plant in Vietnam

Organized by local Catholic diocese, protestors seek fair compensation

October 4, 2016

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Thousands of demonstrators led by Catholics priests converged on a Taiwanese-built steel plant in central Vietnam on Oct. 2 to press claims over a major toxic spill that killed tons of fish in April and shattered the local economy, reported RFA.

A local Catholic diocese in Ha Tinh province, which is also assisting parishioners to sue the Formosa Plastics Group steel plant, organized the protest.

"Oct. 2 is the day parishioners follow the call of the priests in charge to march peacefully, demanding transparency from Formosa, and fair compensation for people, demanding Formosa to stop releasing waste into our Quyen River," a protester told RFA's Vietnamese service.

Formosa officials have admitted responsibility for polluting the waters along four central provinces and paid US$500 million in compensation to the Vietnamese government on Aug. 28. The government has not paid the victims yet.

Also, government officials related to the disaster have not been investigated.

The Ministry of Health Sept. 20 said fish remained contaminated with phenol and warned people not to eat seafood especially those at the seabed within 20 nautical miles from the coast.

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