A Chinese lawyer’s clothes got torn apart after he was reportedly assaulted by courtroom officers for his refusal to hand over his mobile phone.
Guangxi attorney Wu Liangshu was filing a case at a local district court on Friday when court police suspected him of secretly recording the trial using his phone, the South China Morning Post reported.
When Wu refused to turn his phone over, three court police allegedly removed the device from him by force. The scuffle, witnessed by two judges and an official, led to his clothes getting torn off in an embarrassing fashion, exposing his skin and underwear.
The victim sustained injuries on his fingers and some red marks on his chest while his mobile phone screen was smashed after the incident. It was later discovered that the officers’ assumption was wrong when they found no video recording of the trial.
About 1,000 fellow lawyers in China expressed their support by signing a statement that condemned the attack. The group sought the release of the incident’s surveillance footage to reveal what actually transpired and demanded for the court policemen to turn themselves in for assault.
“We are of the view that this is a classic case of abuse of power. Searching people in whatever way they please is an illegal act punishable by law,” the statement read.
The statement also reiterated that there was no law against sound or video recording in a court’s petition office.
“The law only prohibits recording during a hearing inside a courtroom. It does not apply to other court areas such as its main hall and petition office,” it said.
The district court claimed that Wu’s pants were already shoddy and falling apart prior to the altercation.