Face of the day


Mr Wu was allegedly assaulted by three officers inside a courtroom, in front of two judges who rejected his request to file a case in the district court of Nanning PHOTO-Wu Liangshu

Today’s face of the day Wu Liangshu stood in the Qingxiu District Court wearing the remnants of his suit with his bare leg and underpants showing.

…He and other lawyers were telling court officials that he had been assaulted by three officers inside a courtroom in front of two judges who also happened to reject his request to file a case in the district court of Nanning in Guangxi Province.

Mr Wu was offered a new set of clothes but he knew the power of what he was about to do. “No thanks,” he said.

The lawyer then walked out the front door of the court complex carrying his court materials, with a pen still stuck in the top pocket of his ripped open shirt.

He was then photographed outside the building.

It was a simple act of defiance.

If his goal was to draw attention to what happened to him and what Chinese lawyers face every day then it worked.

Wu Liangshu told the BBC: “I wasn’t shocked. I have heard plenty of weird and violent stories of things happening to lawyers in China but I didn’t expect it to happen to me”.

The officers, on the other hand, say that he refused to hand over his mobile phone when they asked for it. They had accused him of making illegal recordings of court officials.

According to a preliminary official investigation the court police did not “beat” the lawyer but were found to have adopted “abusive coercive means” when forcing him to hand over his phone.

Around a thousand Chinese lawyers have reportedly signed a statement condemning the attack and calling for the CCTV footage from inside the hearing to be released to establish what really happened.

…Meanwhile, talk of this clash on Chinese social media has been too much for the authorities. Much of the discussion on Chinese micro-site Weibo seems to have been censored, with only negative comments against Mr Wu now visible.


PHOTO-Wu Liangshu

PHOTO-Wu Liangshu

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