Naomi Osaka joins refrain of worldwide concern for Chinese language tennis star Peng Shuai

“Censorship is rarely OK at any price, I hope Peng Shuai and her household are secure and OK. I am in shock of the present state of affairs and I am sending love and light-weight her method,” Osaka stated as a part of a Twitter assertion on Tuesday.

She included the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai.

Peng, one in all China’s most recognizable tennis stars, accused former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of coercing her into intercourse at his house three years in the past, in accordance with screenshots of a since-deleted social media put up dated November 2.

Peng’s put up on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, was deleted inside half-hour of publication, with Chinese language censors transferring swiftly to wipe out any point out of the accusation on-line.

Peng has not been seen in public for the reason that accusation and her whereabouts haven’t been publicly disclosed. Her Weibo account, which has greater than half 1,000,000 followers, remains to be blocked from searchers on the platform.

A rising variety of worldwide athletes have expressed concern for Peng. Tennis legend and 39 time Grand Slam championship-winner Billie Jean King stated on Twitter, “Hoping that Peng Shuai is discovered secure and that her accusations are absolutely investigated.”

And former world No.1 Chris Evert stated, “these accusations are very disturbing.”

“I’ve identified Peng since she was 14; we should always all be involved; that is critical; the place is she? Is she secure? Any data can be appreciated,” she stated in a put up on Twitter.

Chinese tennis star accuses former top Communist Party leader of sexual assault, triggering blanket censorship
On Sunday, the Girls’s Tennis Affiliation (WTA) referred to as on the Chinese language authorities to research the allegations, insisting the previous top-ranked doubles participant needs to be “heard, not censored.”
In a assertion, WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon stated Peng’s accusations had been of “deep concern” including the allegations should be investigated “absolutely, pretty, transparently and with out censorship.”

“Peng Shuai, and all girls, should be heard, not censored,” Simon stated. “Her accusation in regards to the conduct of a former Chinese language chief involving a sexual assault should be handled with the utmost seriousness.”

The ATP Tour, a worldwide top-tier tennis tour for males, stated in an announcement Monday it was “inspired by the latest assurances obtained by WTA that (Peng) is secure and accounted for and can proceed to watch the state of affairs carefully.” No additional particulars had been offered as to the veracity of the assurances — or who offered them.

“Individually, we stand in full assist of WTA’s name for a full, honest and clear investigation into allegations of sexual assault in opposition to Peng Shuai,” ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi stated within the assertion.

Zhang, 75, served on the ruling Communist Get together’s seven individual Politiburo Standing Committee — the nation’s supreme management physique — from 2012 to 2017 throughout Chinese language chief Xi Jinping’s first time period in energy. He retired as vice premier in 2018.

Within the put up, which reads as an open letter to Zhang, the 35-year-old tennis star alleges a relationship over an intermittent interval that spanned at the least 10 years.

“Why did it’s a must to come again to me, took me to your private home to power me to have intercourse with you?” she wrote.

Peng stated she didn’t have proof to show her allegations, and claimed Zhang was at all times frightened that she would document issues.

“I could not describe how disgusted I used to be, and what number of occasions I requested myself am I nonetheless a human? I really feel like a strolling corpse,” wrote Peng.

Muricas Information can’t independently confirm Peng’s put up, and has reached out to each her and China’s State Council, which handles press inquires for the central authorities, for remark.

Former high rating Czech American tennis participant Martina Navratilova stated she supported the WTA’s name for an investigation. “A really robust stance by the WTA — and the right stance,” she wrote on Twitter.

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