國際人權聯盟（International Federation for Human Rights, FIDH）響應監督台塑越鋼聯盟與越南原告代表提出的訴求，共同向台灣最高法院呼籲，針對台塑越鋼案，應正視越南人權侵害的嚴重性與新冠疫情之影響，並以原告安全為優先考量進行裁定。
2016 年，台塑集團旗下的台塑越南河靜鋼鐵公司（下稱台塑越鋼）於越南中部沿岸兩百公里造成嚴重海洋污染事件，不僅影響數萬人生計，更引發一系列人權侵害事件。為求台塑越鋼公布公開且透明的環境檢測資訊、就此污染事件負責、並提供公平合理的賠償措施、以及恢復自然環境，當地居民與其他支持者走上街頭進行和平抗議，卻遭到越南獨裁政府強力鎮壓，上百名無辜記者、部落客、人權捍衛者遭公安人員毆打、監禁，甚至判刑。再者，即使受害者曾三度向越南地方法院提起訴訟，卻都遭到駁回。2019 年，七千多名原告跨海來台，向台塑越鋼的母公司——台塑集團提起訴訟。然而，三年多過去，訴訟至今卻遲遲未進入實體審理。
2021 年 11 月，台灣最高法院要求數千名越南原告到台灣駐越南代表處進行律師委任狀認證。然而，此一要求對原告而言，不僅需花費昂貴的認證與交通費用，受到新冠疫情影響，省與省之間的移動更是曠日費時。更有甚者，以近年越南人權侵害問題的嚴重程度，認證一事將使原告與其家人陷於遭到越南政府報復的風險之中。
• 台灣已於 2009 年將《經濟、社會、文化權利國際公約》內國法化，法院應以該公約為本進行審理。
Supreme Court should consider repression of human rights in Vietnam in ruling over environmental disaster
head of a critical ruling by Taiwan’s Supreme Court in a civil lawsuit filed on behalf of victims of the 2016 marine disaster in Vietnam against petrochemical giant Formosa Plastics Group (FPG), FIDH echoes the calls of members of the Monitor Formosa Alliance and representatives of the Vietnamese plaintiffs for the court to take into account the acute human rights situation and pandemic restrictions when making its decision.
In 2016, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation (FHS), a subsidiary of Formosa Plastics Group (FPG), caused catastrophic marine pollution along the coast of central Vietnam, which affected the livelihoods of tens of thousands and triggered a series of human rights violations. The Vietnamese government cracked down on peaceful protesters who demanded FHS’ transparency and accountability, fair and reasonable remedy, as well as restoration of the natural environment. Having failed three times in their attempt to access local courts, more than 7,000 victims of the disastrous pollution took their case to Taiwan and sued the parent company, FPG, in 2019. Three years on, the lawsuit has yet to enter the substantive trial proceedings.
In November 2021, Taiwan’s Supreme Court demanded Vietnamese plaintiffs have their Power of Attorney documents notarized at Taiwan’s de facto missions in Vietnam. However, the steps required for Vietnamese plaintiffs to have their POAs notarized are costly and risky, and they are made extremely difficult by pandemic-related restrictions. Worse, they would put plaintiffs and their families in serious danger of retaliation by the Vietnamese government.
In view of the above, we call on the Supreme Court of Taiwan to:
Consider the pandemic and the dire human rights situation in Vietnam when making its latest ruling of the Formosa Plastics Group (FPG) lawsuit.
Accept other methods of POA notarization and agree to extend the deadline for submission of proof of POA until the end of oral arguments at the substantive trial.
Consider the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, whose obligations and commitment were voluntarily accepted by Taiwan in 2009, when reviewing and/or making any ruling pertaining to this lawsuit.
Moreover, we call on the government of Vietnam to:
Immediately and unconditionally release and drop all charges against all human rights defenders currently imprisoned solely for the peaceful exercise of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Repeal or substantially amend the Penal Code and other non-human rights-compliant legislation, used to harass and imprison individuals—including independent journalists and human rights defenders—for the exercise of their fundamental rights, and bring them in conformity with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Vietnam has been a State Party since 1982, and other applicable international law and standards.