In October this year, Nguyen Ngoc Anh, a shrimp farmer from Central Vietnam, was reportedly beaten in jail by a cellmate. His injuries were so bad, his wife was quoted as saying, that he could barely walk. He had been sentenced a few months earlier to six years in jail for using Facebook to “undermine” the government on environment and economic policies. The Communist party is very sensitive to criticism, and news of jail sentences of this kind is not uncommon. What is changing, however, is the nature of that criticism – described by some as a new wave of environmental activism.

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