The White House and the United Nations called for an investigation allegations of sexual assault and then the disappearance of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai earlier in November. The European Union joined them on Tuesday.
Former Chinese Communist Party leader Peng accused Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault on November 2 and has only been seen publicly twice since. In a statement, the EU called for “more verifiable evidence” of Peng’s security and a more in-depth investigation into allegations of sexual assault by the former world leader.
“The EU is in line with a growing international demand, including for professional sports, to ensure that it is free and not threatened,” the EU statement said. According to the Associated Press. “In this spirit, the EU urges the Chinese government to provide verifiable evidence of Peng Shua’s safety, well-being and whereabouts. The EU urges the Chinese authorities to conduct a full, fair and transparent investigation into allegations of sexual assault.
“The EU strongly opposes the use of compulsory disappearance and arbitrary detention … and calls on China to fulfill its human rights obligations under national and international law.”
Peng – who has since complained in a post on the Chinese social media website Weibo – spent 18 days without a public appearance, but on November 20, the Chinese state media released a video of him having dinner with his friends. his coach in Beijing.
A day later, the IOC announced that it had held a video conference with Peng and believed he was safe. COI President Thomas Bach, Chinese sports official Li Lingwei and Sports Committee Chairman Emma Terho were in attendance at the call, and allegedly agreed to dinner with Peng ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Peng’s limited return does not satisfy the EU, however.
“His recent public appearance does not alleviate his concerns about his security and freedom,” an EU spokesman said.
The EU statement comes 11 days after the White House and the UN called for an investigation into Peng’s allegations of sexual assault and its whereabouts. Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the White House was “very concerned” at the time.