A BEIJING-BASED lawyer, illegally detained for 16 hours and badly beaten by public security officials, was awarded more than 3,000 yuan (HK$2,679) compensation in an unprecedented lawsuit. According to a report in the official Legal Daily yesterday, the Beijing People's Court in Haidian District ruled on Wednesday that Li Qiang, a practising lawyer and a teacher at the Beijing Politics and Legal University, be awarded 3440.30 yuan in damages in his case against the Guizhou Public Security authorities. The report said Mr Li had been illegally detained for 16 hours when he visited a ''contact person'' in a private apartment in Beijing on May 8, last year. At around 9 pm, officers who identified themselves as Public Security officials from Guizhou's Junyi County and Beijing Chaoyang District knocked on the door. They announced that they were there to arrest the ''contact person'', who was not identified in the Legal Daily's report. But when Mr Li asked the officers where they were going to take the contact person, he was forcibly ushered into a police vehicle and taken away. The report said the officers took Mr Li to the representative office of the Guizhou Provincial Government in Beijing where he was ''interrogated and badly beaten''. Subsequent medical examinations showed that Mr Li had suffered ''cerebral concussion, retina concussion and bruises to a number of soft tissues''. The lawyer was given a certificate the next morning saying that he had been detained for ''hindering [official] administration''. He was kept in detention until the afternoon when he was sent back to the university. Mr Li later filed a lawsuit with the Haidian District People's Court and the court accepted his case. However, despite two separate court orders for the accused - the Public Security Bureau officials from Guizhou and Beijing's Chaoyang District - to testify in court, they did not show up. A verdict was made in the absence of the Public Security Bureau officials, the report said. While the verdict stated that the Public Security officials from Guizhou's Junyi County must pay Mr Li 3,440.30 yuan in compensation, no mention was made of the officers from the Chaoyang District. According to the Legal Daily report it appeared that despite the compensation order, no Public Security officials had been charged. Earlier, official reports claimed that Chinese citizens had made legal history in the country in protecting their civil rights by taking government officials to court.