BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — Vietnamese officials have denied beating an Associated Press reporter in Vietnam while he covered a Catholic prayer vigil in the communist country.
The denial comes a day after Ben Stocking, the Hanoi bureau chief for The Associated Press, was released from police custody after about 2 1/2 hours and required four stitches on the back of his head. His camera was confiscated by police.
Vietnam’s foreign ministry spokesman Le Dung posted a statement Saturday on the ministry’s web site that said, “Stocking broke the Vietnamese law by deliberately taking pictures at a place where taking pictures was not allowed.”
“There was no beating of Mr. Ben Stocking by the Vietnamese security force,” the statement said.