Peng Shuai situation explained: EU calls for ‘full’ investigation of Chinese tennis star’s allegations

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai went missing 18 days after accusing former Chinese Communist Party leader Zhang Gaoili of sexual assault on Nov. 2. The allegations and her subsequent disappearance sent shockwaves through the tennis community, the White House and many others. Other famous international organizations had to speak up in her defense.

The former French Open and Wimbledon doubles champion claims retired Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli forced her to have sex three years ago in a deleted online post on Chinese social media site Weibo. Peng has not been seen in public since, apart from a well-groomed video that Chinese state media released of her at a Beijing restaurant on Saturday and a video call. allegedly to the president of the International Olympic Committee on Sunday.

NS WTA actively pressured China to confirm Peng’s safety and investigate her allegations, even threatening to withdraw their lucrative business from the country if such actions were not taken. presently. The White House, the United Nations and the European Union have also come to Peng’s defense, calling for an investigation into the allegations and her disappearance.

Peng’s tennis colleagues were equally supportive, with Novak Djokovic called her disappearance “shocking” and Chris Evert described the entire situation as “worrying.” Billie Jean King wrote that she hopes Peng, the former world No. 1, is found safe while Alize Cornet added “Don’t be silent” with the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai.

The most outstanding female tennis player on the planet, Naomi Osaka, tweeted that she is “shocked by the current situation” and is “sending love and light in her path.”

Serena Williams, the sport’s preeminent force long before Osaka, shared the same photo of Peng with equally caring sentiment.

Here’s a chronological look at how the whole situation with Peng went, starting with the latest updates:

November 30: EU demands ‘verifiable proof’ of Peng’s safety

The EU has closely followed the White House and the UN in calling for an investigation into Peng’s allegations and disappearance. In a statement, the EU demanded a “full, fair and transparent investigation” of the situation, adding that the EU “strongly opposes” forced disappearances and arbitrary detention.

“The EU joins the growing international demands, including for sports professionals, to ensure that she is free and not threatened,” the EU statement read, according to the Associated Press. “In this spirit, the EU asks the Chinese government to provide verifiable evidence of Peng Shuai’s safety, health and whereabouts. The EU calls on the Chinese authorities to conduct a full investigation. , being fair and transparent about her sexual assault allegations.”

While 11 days after the White House and the UN made public comment, the EU statement is the most significant statement by an international organization since Mr. Peng’s recent public rise. Peng appeared in a video released by Chinese state media on November 20 and participated in a videoconference organized by the IOC a day later.

“Her recent public re-appearance does not alleviate concerns about her safety and freedom,” an EU spokesman told the AP.

November 21: IOC holds video call with Peng

The International Olympic Committee announced on Sunday that IOC president Thomas Bach held a video call with Peng in which she claimed to be safe. According to the IOC statement, the two were accompanied at the call of Chinese sports official Li Lingwei as well as Athletes’ Commission Chairman Emma Terho.

According to that statement, Peng thanked the committee for its concern for her health and stressed that she was safe and healthy at her home in Beijing, but that she “wants her privacy to be protected.” respect at this point. That’s why she likes to spend her time with friends and family right now.”

“I am relieved to see that Peng Shuai is fine, which is our main concern,” Terho read a statement. “She seemed comfortable. I’ve offered our support and kept in touch at any time convenient for her, which she obviously appreciates.”

The IOC also announced that Peng accepted an invitation to have dinner with Bach, Terho and Li in January. The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing.

November 20: Chinese state media release first footage of Peng since disappearance

Chinese state media has shared a video of Peng having dinner in Beijing, a day after claiming the tennis star shared three photos on Chinese social media platform WeChat. Global Times editor Hu Xijin, who posted the video on Twitter, said the dinner took place on Saturday and was attended by Peng’s friends and coach.

Video comes after Xijin tweeted Peng is “free” at home and will “get into some activities soon” on Friday.

While WTA CEO Steve Simon said seeing Peng in the video was a “positive” development, he described the evidence as “insufficient” and remained “concerned about health and safety”. by Peng Shuai and sexual assault allegations are being censored and swept away. the rug.”

“It remains unclear whether she is free and able to make decisions and act without coercion or outside interference,” Simon said.

According to a translation by Sky News, those who dined with Peng made multiple references to her date and recent performances. Peng doesn’t speak for herself in the video.

November 19: White House, UN call for investigation into Peng Shuai

The White House broke its silence on Peng’s situation by demanding proof of her safety and condemning Chinese censorship. Press secretary Jen Psaki said the White House was “deeply concerned” about the tennis star’s disappearance and was looking for “independent and verifiable evidence” about her location and condition.

A day ago, US President Joe Biden said he was “looking into” diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing for its handling of human rights issues.

“First, any report of sexual assault should be investigated, and we support the ability of women to speak out and seek accountability whether here or around the world. Second, we are. will continue to defend freedom of expression, and we know that China has zero tolerance for criticism and records of silencing those who speak out, and we continue to condemn such practices .”

The United Nations joined Peng’s defense of the White House, with UN Human Rights Office spokeswoman Liz Throssell calling for an investigation with “full transparency.”

“What we’re saying is that it’s important to have proof of her whereabouts and health, and we look forward to a full transparency investigation into her sexual assault allegations.” her,” Throssell said.

November 19: China says it ‘doesn’t know’ about the situation regarding Shuai

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed that they did not “know” about the situation around Peng Shuai, according to the Associated Press. Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told the media the matter was “not a diplomatic question” and added that he was “not aware of the situation.”

On the other hand, Liz Throssell, a spokesman for the United Nations human rights office in Geneva, said that the situation calls for “a full transparency investigation into her alleged sexual assault.”

On Friday, the International Olympic Committee declined to comment on the matter.

Nov 18, Simon, WTA threatens to pull Chinese business

Simon has doubled down on his threat to pull WTA business out of China, a country his organization has expanded into over the past few years, if it doesn’t confirm Peng’s safety and investigate the allegations. hers.

“We’re definitely ready to pull our business and deal with all the complications that come with it,” says Simon. CNN. “Because this is definitely, this is bigger than the business.”

He added: “Women need to be respected and not censored.

In 2019 alone, China hosted 19 WTA tournaments with a total prize money of $30.4 million. Shenzhen is slated to host the WTA Finals from 2022-2030 after first holding it in 2019. The 2019 Finals have a $14 million prize pool.

November 17: WTA questions legitimacy of Peng Shuai . claim

An email allegedly sent from Peng on Wednesday claims that the WTA did not receive her consent or verification prior to releasing its statement. This is Peng’s first public comment since her allegations, but some, including the WTA, have questioned the legitimacy of the statement.

“The news in that statement, including the allegation of sexual assault, is not true,” the email was posted by China’s global television network on Chinese state-run social media. “I’m not missing, nor am I unsafe. I’ve just rested at home and everything is fine.”

Simon then openly questioned whether Peng was coerced into writing it.

“Today’s statement by Chinese state media regarding Peng Shuai only adds to my concerns about her safety and whereabouts,” Simon wrote. “Peng Shuai must be allowed to speak freely, without coercion or threat from any source.”

Peng has not been seen since her social media post on November 2.

November 15: China keeps silent on Peng Shuai’s allegations, disappearance

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijan speak “this is not a diplomatic question” when asked about Peng’s allegations, adding that he “hasn’t heard of the matter.” The country, 13 days after Peng’s post, has yet to acknowledge it.

November 14: WTA CEO calls for an investigation into the situation

Steve Simon, executive director of the WTA, demanded a “full, fair and transparent” investigation on Peng’s allegations in a statement. At the time, no one had seen or heard from Peng for 12 days, causing the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai to go viral on social media.

“It is clear that she has shown great courage in public,” Simon told the New York Times. “Now we want to make sure we’re moving towards a place where a full and transparent investigation is conducted. Anything else, I think, is an insult to more than just the bridges. our defender that with all women.”

Simon threatened to withdraw WTA business from China if the country did not properly investigate Peng’s allegations. China is currently hosting 11 WTA tournaments and finals in Shenzhen.

While Simon could not directly confirm Peng’s whereabouts or condition, he told the Times that several sources – including the China Tennis Association – told him she was “safe and not physically threatened.” Simon “understood” that she was in Beijing.

November 2: Peng Shuai makes sexual assault allegations against Zhang

In a 1,600-word post on Weibo, Peng accused 75-year-old Zhang – a former leader in the Chinese Communist Party – of forced her to have sex about three years ago. Peng, 35, testified that the assault happened after Zhang invited her to play tennis with him and his wife at their home, but she admitted she had no proof.

“I was terrified that afternoon,” wrote Peng, who said a guard was standing guard outside the door when the assault happened. “I never agreed, cried the whole time.”

Peng said she and Zhang met when the latter was the party boss in Tianjin from 2007-2012, and that Zhang forced her to have sex after leaving his post as China’s vice premier in 2017.

“I know that for someone of your caliber, Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli, you have said you are not afraid,” Peng wrote. “But whether it’s like throwing an egg on a rock, or if I’m like a moth rushing into a fire, inviting self-destruction, I’ll tell the truth about you.”

The post was deleted within 30 minutes, and Chinese censors blocked search terms like Peng’s name.

Source link Peng Shuai situation explained: EU calls for ‘full’ investigation of Chinese tennis star’s allegations


Inter Reviewed is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button