EU Urges Beijing To Launch Investigation Into Situation With Tennis Player Peng Shuai

EU Urges Beijing to Launch Investigation into Situation With Tennis Player Peng Shuai

The European Union has urged the Chinese authorities to launch a transparent investigation into the case of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai and present verifiable evidence of her safety, since her public reappearance has done little to ease concerns, a spokesperson of the European Union's diplomatic arm said on Tuesday

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 30th November, 2021) The European Union has urged the Chinese authorities to launch a transparent investigation into the case of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai and present verifiable evidence of her safety, since her public reappearance has done little to ease concerns, a spokesperson of the European Union's diplomatic arm said on Tuesday.

"The EU joins growing international demands, including by sport professionals, for assurances that she is free and not under threat. In this spirit, the EU requests the Chinese government provide verifiable proof of Peng Shuai's safety, well-being and whereabouts. The EU urges the Chinese authorities to conduct a full, fair and transparent investigation into her allegations of sexual assault," the European External Action Service spokesperson said in the statement.

The tennis star disappeared from public after publishing on November 2 a statement on Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media platform, accusing the former Chinese vice-premier, 75-year-old Zhang Gaoli, of sexually assaulting her. The post was immediately deleted, Peng's accounts were removed from Chinese social networks and the athlete stopped communicating, raising concerns for her safety.

On November 21, the tennis star finally appeared in public for the first time in several weeks at the opening ceremony of a teenage tennis match final in Beijing. The next day, Peng confirmed she was safe and well in a video call with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.

On November 22, Human Rights Watch urged the IOC not to promote alleged Chinese propaganda, noting that the organization's collaboration with Beijing on Peng's reappearance undermined its human rights commitment. HRW also urged the IOC to convince the Chinese authorities to launch an independent investigation into the situation.

On Tuesday, IOC Senior Member Dick Pound told Bloomberg that all allegations by HRW were silly and not supported by the evidence. He denied claims that the IOC confirmed Peng's safety only to avoid direct conflict with Beijing.