The U.N. is calling for an investigation “with full transparency” into Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai’s allegation of sexual assault against a former high-ranking politician in China.
Peng has not been seen in public since she accused Zhang Gaoli, former Chinese vice premier, of forcing her to have sex at his home.
The tennis player, former world number one in doubles and double ‘Grand Slam’ champion, made her complaint through a publication on the social network ‘Weibo’, which was deleted after 30 minutes.
In response, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said U.S. officials are “deeply concerned” by reports to that effect.
“We join calls for the Chinese authorities to provide independent and verifiable evidence of her whereabouts and that she is safe,” he said. For her part, UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Liz Throssell has also expressed concern and called for an investigation “with full transparency” into Peng’s allegations.
“It would be important to have evidence of his whereabouts and well-being, and we would urge an investigation with full transparency into his sexual assault allegations,” she added.
I acquired two video clips, which show Peng Shuai was having dinner with her coach and friends in a restaurant. The video content clearly shows they are shot on Saturday Beijing time. pic.twitter.com/HxuwB5TfBk
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) November 20, 2021
WTA threatens China
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has said it is prepared to take millions of dollars in losses if it does not shed full light on the tennis player’s case.
The International Olympic Committee and the IOC Athletes’ Commission also released statements.
Also, the athletes’ commission said Saturday it “is very concerned” about Peng’s situation and supported a quiet diplomacy approach that the IOC is taking.
“We also hope that a way can be found for direct engagement between her and her athlete colleagues,” the commission said.