UK Asks For ‘Verifiable Evidence’ On Missing Chinese Olympian Whereabouts

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has raised concern about the disappearance of three-time Olympian Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai. Meanwhile, UK has said that the China should provide ‘verifiable evidence’ on tennis star’s whereabouts.

Missing Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai has purportedly appeared in a ‘new’ video released by the state media in which she is seen with her friends in a restaurant.

A video posted by the editor of a Chinese state media tabloid shows Peng having dinner reportedly on Saturday Beijing time. “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,” Global Times Editor in Chief Hu Xijint tweeted along with the video posted on Twitter.

Peng, who is one of China’s most recognizable sports stars, had disappeared from public view after she accused former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of coercing her into sex at his home, according to screenshots of a since-deleted social media post dated November 2.

On Saturday, United Nations called for an investigation into Peng Shuai’s disappearance while the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) is willing to lose hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business in China for the tennis player.

The hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai is trending globally, and prominent tennis players and other important figures have voiced fears about the 35-year-old star’s whereabouts.

On Thursday, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) received a statement purporting to be from Peng, recanting her abuse claim. “I have a hard time believing that Peng Shuai actually wrote the email we received or believes what is being attributed to her,” said WTA chair Steve Simon.

The WTA called for an investigation into her complaint and said it is prepared to pull tournaments out of the country if it doesn’t get an appropriate response.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), in contrast, had been silent on the Olympian’s disappearance, HRW pointed out. When the IOC finally commented, it was to endorse the government’s line: “We have seen the latest reports and are encouraged by assurances that she is safe.”

The Chinese government, the IOC’s Winter Olympics partner, frequently forcibly disappears individuals whose views or conduct it sees as problematic or embarrassing, employs extralegal forms of detention, and publishes forced confessions to make dubious cases appear legitimate. From Nobel Peace Prize laureates to Hong Kong publishers to Interpol chiefs, Chinese authorities have gone to great lengths to silence critics, the rights group said.

(With ANI Inputs)

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