WTA does not trust Peng Shuai’s video with the IOC

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai reacts during her match against Mona Barthel at the 2014 Wuhan Tennis Open.

The WTA continues not to trust that the tennis player Shuai Peng can express herself freely and without being coerced, after she has had a call with the International Olympic Committee.

The former world number one in doubles appeared in the last hours in a telematic call with the president of the IOC, Thomas Bach, in which he assured that he was well in his home in Beijing and in which he asked that his privacy be respected.

However, the WTA has responded that this video “does not alleviate concerns for her well-being. and for their ability to communicate without censorship and coercion. “

“This video does not change our request for a full, fair and transparent investigation. about his allegations of sexual abuse, “said the WTA.

Peng had been missing since last December 2, when she accused former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexually abusing her three years ago. Only the media related to the Chinese Government had shown images of the tennis player from that date, until this call with the IOC.

China ditches Peng Shuai case

The call between the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, in which she said she was “fine”, is “enough” for the media related to the Chinese Government, that only mention the case before an international audience on networks such as Twitter, vetoed in the Asian country.

“His appearances in the last few days are enough to eliminate worries”, Tweeted today the director of the Global Times newspaper, Hu Xijin, who already announced last Saturday on the same network that the tennis player was going to appear in public.

In the last days, Government-related media distributed several videos and images of Peng on Twitter due to fears about the tennis player’s whereabouts, who denounced on November 2 sexual abuse by former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli.

However, any mention of Peng remains completely censored in Chinese media and social networks, and even the live signal of some international networks such as CNN fade into black when they begin to talk about the case, according to the television itself on its website.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to insist that the Peng case “is not a diplomatic matter.”, although today the spokesman Zhao Lijian stressed that “it has been seen recently” in response to questions from journalists.

Peng had a half-hour conversation with IOC President Thomas Bach yesterday, to whom he informed that he is “fine” at his home in Beijing, emphasizing that he would like his “privacy” to be respected.

According Yaqiu Wang, of Humans Right Watch, the conversation between Bach and Peng would have been conducted under “coercion.”

“The IOC is being complicit in the propaganda machine and in a case of coercion and forced disappearance by the Chinese government,” the activist tweeted today.

For Global Times, who suspect that the tennis player is acting under pressure “they must have a dark side.”

“Can a girl really fake such a radiant smile under pressure?” its director Hu asked today on Twitter.

On the other hand, there is also no news about the politician accused of the abuses, Zhang Gaoli, who left public life three years ago after leaving office.

Peng accused Zhang of forcing her to have sex in a letter posted on the social network Weibo, but the letter volatilized just twenty minutes after it was sent.

The case explodes less than three months before the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, which the United States “evaluates” to boycott at the diplomatic level for alleged human rights abuses by the Chinese Government.

China considers that such accusations are nothing more than a “smear campaign” and that “politicizing sport is against the Olympic spirit”, the spokesman Zhao stressed today to a question about this possible boycott, to which, according to the British newspaper The Times, other countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand could also join.

“We will have a safe and brilliant Games”, he asserted.

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