More than 1000 lawyers have signed a petition condemning an alleged physical assault of Chinese Lawyer Wu Liangshu, who claims he was assaulted by Chinese authorities at a court in Guangxi province.
He said he was attacked by three court guards in the presence of two judges and another court official, after his request to file a case was rejected at a district court in the city of Nanning last week.
Wu posted a photo of himself looking dishevelled, with his right trouser leg torn away, which has since gone viral, sparking discussion over whether China's judicial system, which is controlled by the ruling Communist Party, served the people and rule of law, or the government, a report by the Sydney Morning Herald
Lawyers and scholars have signed a petition condemning the “barbaric and violent abuse of power”, demanding the court release security camera footage of the incident.
“If the court behaves in such a way,” the petition read, “could it be that so-called justice for the people and rule of law are a joke?”
Chinese authorities have denied the allegations, saying the court had repeatedly offered Wu a new pair of pants but he declined.
According to local media, Wu refused to hand over his mobile phone to court officers who accused him of secretly recording their conversation.
The incident comes as China cracks down on human rights lawyers and legal rights activists, with more than 300 questioned or harassed and at least 20 remaining in detention.
Earlier this week, the Nanning government ordered the court to apologise and though financial compensation was ordered, the court said the lawyer was not subject to any intentional harm or assault. The government did acknowledge that court policemen had exceeded the power of law enforcement and ordered the court to accept Wu’s request to file his case.