A Chinese lawyer has alleged that he was beaten by court policemen in front of two judges after he refused to hand over his mobile phone for inspection on 3 June. The incident has caused an uproar among the legal fraternity in China.

Around 800 lawyers have signed a statement condemning the attack. According Shanghai-based news portal The Paper, Wu was trying to submit documentation for a civil case on behalf of his client in the city of Nanning, when court staff told him that the court did not have the required jurisdiction

Wu then tried to call his client but two police officers thought that the lawyer was trying to "bad mouth" the court and demanded that Wu hand over his phone. When Wu refused, the officers beat him and conducted a body search that left him half-naked," the report said.

China police
Chinese police The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

A photograph of him leaving the court after the incident showed him with his shirt torn open and half of his trousers ripped, revealing his underpants, according to Caixin news.

Wu also had red marks on his chest and multiple injuries to his fingers. He also claimed that a court police officer had stamped on him.

In the statement issued by the lawyers, they said: "Without any legal stance and paperwork such as a search warrant, court policemen are not allowed to carry out such an inspection. We are of the view that this is a classic case of abuse of power."

The statement continued: "Searching people in whatever way they please is an illegal act punishable by law. " The lawyers also urged the court authorities to release surveillance camera footage of the incident.