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Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai accused Zhang Gaoli, a Communist Party leader in her country, of raping her. After ten days without any information about her, several citizens and other tennis players have claimed on social networks that they do know her whereabouts.
Gaoli was the Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China and a member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party from 2012 to 2017.
Shuai made the allegation in a 20-minute video posted on Weibo, a Twitter-like platform used in the Asian country. But after several days, the player’s account has not posted any new content.
In statements that were picked up by several media outlets like the Daily Mail, she explained that at first, she refused to have sex, but then agreed. However, she did not detail the reasons that led her to give in.
Then the publication was removed and all trace of the tennis player was lost. Other players like Alize Cornet have asked the social media platform to disclose Shuai’s location.
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Women’s Tennis Association on the case of Peng Shuai
In view of the situation, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) issued a statement assuring that all women must be heard. The organization further expressed its solidarity with Peng Shuai.
“Peng Shuai and all women deserve to be heard, not censored. Her accusation about the conduct of a former Chinese leader involving a sexual assault must be treated very seriously,” WTA President and CEO Steve Simon said in a WTA declaration released by EFE.
The organization insisted that the recent events in China concerning Peng Shuai, a WTA player, are of deep concern and made it clear that as an institution dedicated to women, they are committed to the principles under which they were founded: equality, opportunity and respect.