Radio Free Asia reported that Vietnamese policemen bar and rough up a U.S. embassy official as he tried to meet a dissident cleric.
The United States has lodged a "strong protest" with the Vietnamese government after policemen attacked an American diplomat while barring him from meeting with a dissident Catholic priest in central Vietnam.
Christian Marchant, a political officer with the U.S. embassy in Hanoi, was roughed up outside the home for retired priests in Hue where Nguyen Van Ly, 63, is being held under house arrest after being released from jail on medical parole last year.
“We are aware of and deeply concerned by the incident and have officially registered a strong protest with the Vietnamese government in Hanoi," a State Department official told RFA.
You don't hear this often, but it does happen. Active links added above. Read the whole thing here.
Just two days earlier, the Richmond Register posted a lengthy piece on FSO, Christian Marchant. Excerpt below:
Since he was posted as the political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, in September 2007, Christian Marchant has advocated “tirelessly” and “persuasively” on behalf of political dissidents and for property rights and freedom of religion and against torture in the Communist country with which the United States fought a nearly decade-long war.
His work has not gone unnoticed by his superiors in Washington, and in late February, the 1992 graduate of Model Laboratory School will share the Human Rights and Democracy Award the State Department presents to an embassy officer.
Marchant previously served as a political officer in the Czech Republic, China and other countries, and is reportedly heading back to DC later this year for an assignment at the EAP's Chinese and Mongolian affairs.