Hanoi: Police roughed up an American diplomat in Vietnam and repeatedly slammed a car door on his legs when he went to visit a prominent dissident, an official in Washington said on Thursday, detailing an encounter that prompted
a strong US protest.
Christian Marchant, a political officer at the US Embassy in Hanoi, was expected to make a full recovery after being roughed up while trying to visit the detained dissident, said the US official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to disclose details.
Neither the US Embassy in Hanoi nor outgoing Ambassador Michael Michalak would describe the incident, but he said the US had protested what occurred yesterday in the central city of Hue.
"The United States government, both here in Hanoi and in Washington, has lodged a strong, official protest with the government of Vietnam regarding the treatment of one of our diplomats," Michalak told reporters during his farewell
He called the issue a matter of grave concern, saying foreign diplomats are protected under international law.
"All governments are responsible for complying fully with the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, including ensuring the safety and security of diplomatic personnel," he said.
Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga said the government is reviewing the incident, but added that foreign diplomats also have a responsibility to abide by the host country`s laws.