The UN demands evidence that tennis player Shuai Peng is all right. A famous Chinese player has gone missing after accusing a former deputy prime minister of her country of sexual assault a few years ago.
It would be important to have proof of her whereabouts and to know if she’s okay. We call for a transparent investigation into her allegations of sexual assault Liz Throssell, a spokeswoman at the United Nations Office for Human Rights, called on Friday.
We demand a transparent investigation. This should be the case for all allegations of sexual assault Throssell emphasized.
The fact that the athlete still does not show any sign of life, shocked a large part of the tennis community. An investigation in this matter is being called for by, inter alia, famous female players.
The WTA organization, which oversees major women’s tennis competitions, has threatened to cancel all tournaments in China unless the Shuai Peng case is resolved.
The topic has been given additional publicity in connection with the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, which is accompanied by critical voices of human rights defenders. US President Joe Biden admitted on Thursday that he was considering a diplomatic boycott of the event. It would mean that no representative of the national authorities will fly to China, but the athletes will start as planned.
In early November, on the Weibo platform, Shuai Peng accused former deputy prime minister of the Chinese government, Gaola Zhang, of forcing sex years ago, although their relationship was later voluntary. She did not provide details, but admitted that she could not prove the accusations. About half an hour after publication, the entry was deleted. Even so, the screenshots were shared with private groups on WeChat and iMessage.
Peng did not respond to a request for comment sent to her Weibo account. The sports marketing agency APG, which represents it, also did not provide any information. The China State Council of State Information Office did not respond to requests for comment, and Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, when asked at a daily briefing, said he was unaware of the problem and that “this is not a foreign affairs question.”
Zhang, 75, is a high-ranking Communist Party politician. IN in 2013-2018 he was one of the four deputy prime ministers of China.
In early 2014, Peng was number one in the world ranking of doubles. In doubles, she won two Grand Slam titles – in 2013 at Wimbledon and a year later at the French Open.
Chinese media recently published an email allegedly written by Shuai Peng on Twitter (nationally blocked). The former leader of the world ranking of doubles players was to deny the truthfulness of the accusations of molestation and ensure that she was at home and doing well. She also asked the WTA to verify with her information about her, which is to be posted on the organization’s governing site for the organisation’s women’s tennis tournament series, and to publish it only after obtaining her consent.
“A statement released today by Chinese state media regarding Shuai Peng has only increased my concerns about her safety and whereabouts. I have a hard time believing that she really wrote the e-mail we received or believes what is assigned to her in it. She showed incredible courage in describing the allegation of sexual violence on the part of a former top Chinese government official. The WTA and the rest of the world need independent and verifiable proof that it is safe. I have tried to contact her many times using various means of communication, but to no avail “- said Steve Simons, President of the WTA.
This is not the first time that a popular person who has fallen into the hands of the authorities “disappears” in China. Three years ago, Fan Bingbing, a popular actress nicknamed “Chinese Jennifer Lawrence”, also starring in Hollywood blockbusters such as “X-Men” and “Iron Men,” went missing without a trace.
The actress “reappeared” after a few months. At that time, information was published that she avoided paying taxes. She officially apologized for this and praised the ruling Communist Party of China.