Legal representatives of a lawyer who had his clothes torn open by court police have refused to accept an apology from the head of the local court, according to US-backed Radio Free Asia and copies of the statement circulated on Weibo.

The head of the Qingxiu court in Nanning has issued an apology to Wu Liangshu, the lawyer whose clothes were torn, reported a local government-run paper.

Before a meeting at the Qingxiu court on Wednesday, during which Wu, his legal representatives and local officials viewed the court’s surveillance video, the head of the local court made an apology to Wu and offered to compensate him.

Wu Liangshu leaving the courthouse.

Wu’s lawyers issued a statement on Thursday saying that he is refusing to accept the apology and the court’s offer to replace his phone and provide compensation of RMB 2000 (HK$2,366), according to posts on Weibo. The statement calls on the court to publicise the surveillance video.

According to the results of the investigation posted on Xinhua on Tuesday, the court police “did not have the intent to harm,” and the police action “does not count as a beating.” The report also said that it is considered a misuse of force.

The skirmish between court police and Wu happened last Friday as Wu was filing a civil case in court. The court police suspected Wu was recording the proceedings with his mobile phone. When Wu refused to hand over his phone, the police forcibly grabbed it from his pocket, Wu told Caixin.

Accounts differ between the court and Wu, who said that he suffered injuries on his fingers and was stamped on by police.

The police did not manage to find a recording on his phone afterwards, and offered him a new pair of pants, which he refused, Wu told Caixin.

Wu’s phone after the incident. Photo: NetEase.

Images of Wu leaving the courthouse with his shirt and trousers torn open have circulated on the internet and other media since.

A group of lawyers in China issued a statement condemning the attack and calling for the release of the surveillance video.

Catherine Lai

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.