UN insists on investigation into Peng’s sexual assault allegations
Geneva, Nov 23 (EFE).- The United Nations Human Rights Office on Tuesday reiterated calls for Chinese authorities to properly investigate allegations of sexual assault made by tennis player Peng Shuai against the country’s former vice premier Zhang Gaoli.
Chinese officials should carry out a “transparent” investigation into Peng’s accusations – who then disappeared from public view for a couple of weeks – the UN Human Rights Office’s spokesperson Marta Hurtado said.
Amid worldwide calls for authorities to provide evidence that the tennis player had not been detained, Peng made a video call with the head of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach, confirming she was safe and well.
Hurtado, however, declined to comment whether the 30-minute video call, in which a Chinese sports official took part, provided enough evidence of Peng’s wellbeing.
At the beginning of the month, 35-year-old Peng published a message on Chinese social media site Weibo alleging that Zhang Gaoli, the country’s vice premier between 2012-17, had “forced” her into sex.
The post disappeared less than 30 minutes later and she was not seen in public for a couple of weeks.
Over the past few days, pro-government media published several videos and images of Peng on Twitter.
These, alongside the video call, close a chapter, according to Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of official daily Global Times.
“For those who truly care about (the) safety of Peng Shuai, her appearances (…) these days are enough to relieve them or eliminate most of their worries,” he tweeted.
China’s foreign ministry on Tuesday condemned the international community for politicizing the story, calling for an end to what spokesperson Zhao Lijian called “malicious hyping”. EFE