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Jun 23, 2022 / 22:57

Vietnam’s 1st Goldman Prize awardee jailed for tax fraud

Vietnam said speculation that the woman was punished for her activities in the reduction of coal power is groundless.

Nguy Thi Khanh, the first Vietnamese person awarded the world’s Goldman Environmental Prize, has been sentenced to two years behind bars for tax fraud.

 Nguy Thi Khanh. Photo: Goldman Environmental Prize

Commenting on the sentence, Hang said Khanh violated Law on Tax Administration and admitted to committing the crime, saying speculation that Khanh’s conviction resulted from her activities and opinions related to climate change is unfounded and inconsistent with the nature of the case.

Hang made the statement in response to a question raised at a press conference held on June 23.

She said all citizens are equal before the law, adding that Vietnam strictly handles law-breaking acts in accordance with the law.

Regarding environmental protection, Vietnam is strongly committed to climate change response, green and sustainable development. The commitment has been translated into many legal documents and policies, Hang said.

At the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh affirmed Vietnam’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, reducing greenhouse gas methane emissions by 30% by 2030; participating in the Global Declaration on Transition of Coal to Clean Electricity and the Declaration of Leaders on Forests and Land Use.

Currently, Vietnam is implementing many comprehensive measures for energy transition, transforming the growth model toward a green and circular one, Hang said, adding that the Government of Vietnam also consults with scientists, non-governmental organizations, and international partners in formulating legal policies on environment and climate change.

Nguy Thi Khanh, 46, was former founder and managing director of Green Innovation and Development Center (GreenID). The environmentalist was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2018.

GreenID introduces itself as a not-for-profit science and technology organization contributing to sustainable development in Vietnam.