US, UN Demand Proof Of Chinese Tennis Star's Well-being
Muhammad Rameez 15 days ago Sat 20th November 2021 | 12:04 PM
The United States and UN on Friday demanded proof of Peng Shuai's whereabouts as concern rises for the tennis star, who has not been seen in public since alleging she was sexually exploited by a former vice-premier of China
Geneva, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 20th Nov, 2021 ) :The United States and UN on Friday demanded proof of Peng Shuai's whereabouts as concern rises for the tennis star, who has not been seen in public since alleging she was sexually exploited by a former vice-premier of China.
Late Friday photos of a smiling Peng emerged on a Chinese state media-affiliated social media account, but their authenticity could not be verified and the user did not respond to AFP's request for comment.
Earlier White House press secretary Jen Psaki had said President Joe Biden's administration wanted China to "provide independent, verifiable proof" of Peng's whereabouts and expressed "deep concern" about the former world top-ranked doubles player.
The United Nations insisted on a fully transparent investigation into the claims made by Peng against Communist Party grandee Zhang Gaoli -- the first time China's #MeToo movement has touched the highest echelons of the country's politics.
The claims were quickly scrubbed from the Twitter-like platform and Peng has not been seen publicly since.
"We are calling for an investigation with full transparency into her allegation of sexual assault." Other tennis stars, sports bodies, governments and human rights defenders have added to the growing clamour for information.
China has repeatedly refused to comment on the case.
The user said the pictures were shared on Peng's WeChat Moments, a function often restricted to friends, to wish her followers a "good weekend".
One image shows the smiling player with a cat in her arms, with stuffed animals, a trophy and a Chinese flag visible in the background.
Another shows a selfie of Peng with an image of Winnie the Pooh in the background. The children's character is often censored online in China because critics say Chinese leader Xi Jinping resembles the cartoon.
In it, Peng claims that her earlier accusations are "not true" and says she is "resting at home and everything is fine".
But doubts were flagged about the awkward language and the cursor visible in the screenshot.
Twitter is a blocked social network in China, and only people with a VPN-type workaround can access it.
"The Primary thing for us is to make sure that she's safe," he said.
"We've utilised the channels that we have working behind the scenes to find out, to get more clarity on her safety." The head of the WTA has said he is willing to lose hundreds of millions of Dollars worth of Chinese business in one of the organisation's biggest markets to ensure Peng's wellbeing.
On Friday Novak Djokovic said he backed the WTA's threat and its president "absolutely".
"If you have tournaments on Chinese soil without resolving this situation it would be a little bit strange," he added.
She is a former Wimbledon and French Open doubles champion.