US condemns sentencing of Vietnamese environmental activist

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department on Thursday condemned the sentencing of Vietnamese environmental activist Hoang Thi Minh Hong to three years in prison on charges of tax fraud.

A Vietnamese court on Thursday sentenced the activist, who was the director of an environmental advocacy group that she started in 2013 and ran until 2022. She was convicted of tax evasion after trial in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday that lasted half a day, her lawyer said.

The sentencing came just days after the Vietnamese government discussed protecting human rights with U.S. President Joe Biden during a state visit.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Leslie Adler)