Vietnam media: US diplomat shoved local official

January 7, 2011 06:47

HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnam's state-controlled media are accusing an American diplomat of creating a public disturbance during an incident in which he was reportedly roughed up by Vietnamese police for attempting to visit a prominent dissident.

The US says it has filed a strong protest over the incident Wednesday in the central city of Hue.The Thanh Nien newspaper on Friday quoted unidentified witnesses as saying US Embassy political officer Christian Marchant shouted curses in English and Vietnamese, shoved a local official and punched another person in the face.

A US official in Washington says Marchant was attempting to visit a Roman Catholic priest who is a pro-democracy dissident when he was roughed up and a car door was repeatedly slammed on his legs.

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