The intimidation and persecution continue.
Christian Marchant, the political officer for the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam, reportedly was “roughed up” and “wrestled to the ground” Wednesday by Vietnamese police as he attempted to visit a dissident Roman Catholic priest who had been sentenced to eight years in prison by Vietnam’s Communist government in 2007.
Marchant is a graduate of Model Laboratory School and recently was selected to receive a human rights award from the U.S. State Department.
Father Nguyen Van Ly, 63, a well-known dissident who founded the pro-democracy movement, Bloc 8406, was paroled for medical reasons last year, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA). However, he remains under house arrest at a home for retired priests.
RFA first reported the incident in a Vietnamese-language broadcast which was monitored by a man of Vietnamese origin, who identified himself as “Mr. Tran,” and who lives in California. He telephoned the Richmond Register after reading a story published Monday about Marchant on the newspaper’s website.
Next month, Marchant is slated to receive the State Department’s Human Rights and Democracy award for his work on behalf of religious freedom and the rights of political dissidents, including those imprisoned, in Vietnam.
UPDATE: Vietnam’s state-run media is now offering its own version of what happened.