(HANOI, Vietnam) -- An American diplomat was attacked by Vietnamese police Thursday while on his way to meet a prominent dissident, ABC News has confirmed.
Christian Marchant, a political officer at the U.S. embassy in Hanoi who won a State Department award for his work on human rights, was on his way to meet with a dissident Catholic priest, Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly, when police attacked him. The extent of his injuries is unknown, but he is expected to make a full recovery.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner blasted Vietnam for the attack.
"We are aware of and deeply concerned by the incident and have officially registered a strong protest with the Vietnamese government in Hanoi," Toner said. "We plan to raise the issue with Ambassador Phung in Washington as well. Diplomats are entitled under international law to special protection against attack. The government of Vietnam has a responsibility to take appropriate steps to prevent any attack on the person, freedom, or dignity of diplomats."
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