At a virtual press conference on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch China Director Sophie Richardson condemned the role of the International Olympic Committee in cooperating with the Chinese authorities on Peng Shuai’s re-appearance.
On Sunday, the International Olympic Committee said in a statement that its chairman Thomas Bach had a 30-minute video call with three-time Olympian Peng Shuai. A Chinese sports official and an IOC official also attended the meeting.
The statement said that during the call, Peng looked “nice” and “relaxed”, and said she “want her privacy to be respected.” The International Olympic Committee did not explain how the video call with Peng was organized.
‘a big surprise’
Human Rights Watch also suggested that the International Olympic Committee should take more measures to protect the Chinese Olympic athlete.
“In the photos with the female Peng Shuai, seeing Thomas Bach under tremendous pressure, we can reasonably assume from other cases and refute her claims of sexual assault, instead of doing everything possible. This is a completely different thing. An order of magnitude Richardson said: “He and the organization have the ability to point this out and ensure that she receives the support, investigation and prosecution that may be necessary. “
In response, the IOC told CNN, “The Olympics are the only event that brings the whole world together for peaceful competition.” The IOC statement said: “They are all the diversity that the world knows about us. The most powerful symbol of unity in the world.”
“In our fragile world, despite all the differences, the power of sports to link the whole world together gives us all hope for a better future.
“In view of the diversified participation of the Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee must remain neutral on all global political issues.
“At all times, the International Olympic Committee recognizes and upholds the basic principles of the Olympic Charter and the human rights contained in its ethical standards.
“We have a responsibility to ensure respect for the Olympic Charter in the Olympic Games and take this responsibility very seriously.
“All stakeholders must ensure compliance with the principles of the Olympic Charter in the context of the Olympic Games. The Japanese and Chinese organizers have done so for the recent 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. “
Ability to report in China
At the Human Rights Watch press conference, people expressed concern about the ability to report in China and how this will affect Peng’s current situation.
“It is difficult to report what is happening in China,” said Benki Warden, director of Global Initiatives at Human Rights Watch.
“Therefore, it was a big surprise to see the President of the International Olympic Committee and senior officials on Sunday interviewing the three-time Chinese Olympian and former world number one in doubles tennis world No. 1 Peng Shuai via video,” Woden added.
The 35-year-old Peng disappeared on November 2 after she stated on Chinese social media that she was sexually assaulted and forced to have sex with the 75-year-old Zhang Gaoli. Zhang Gaoli served as China Vice President from 2013 to 2018. Prime Minister.
These allegations are under scrutiny in mainland China. CNN’s broadcast signal was also censored in Peng’s report.
Earlier on Tuesday, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the government wanted to stop “malicious speculation” about Peng’s happiness and whereabouts and should not politicize her case.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian declined to comment on whether the Chinese government would investigate Peng’s allegations of sexual assault against former Deputy Prime Minister Zhang. He reiterated his previous comments to reporters, saying that Peng’s situation was “not a diplomatic issue.”
According to screenshots of social media posts that were deleted on November 2, Peng, who was twice a Grand Slam doubles champion and one of China’s top tennis players, publicly accused Zhang of forcing her to have sex in his home.
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