The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been accused of helping Beijing cover for the disappearance of tennis star Peng Shuai, who mysteriously went missing after accusing a former official in the Chinese Communist Party of sexual assault.
It is now suspected that Peng is being held by officials as she has only made very limited public appearances that have only been documented by party members. The tennis star also reportedly issued an email in which she recanted her allegations, but its authenticity is suspect.
This includes a video call with the IOC, which prompted accusations that the organization is helping China to downplay concerns that Peng is being punished for her allegations as well as calls from international human rights activists to boycott the upcoming Beijing Olympics.
“The IOC has vaulted itself from silence about Beijing’s abysmal human rights record to active collaboration with Chinese authorities in undermining freedom of speech and disregarding alleged sexual assault,” Yaqiu Wang, a senior China researcher for Human Rights Watch, stated.
“The IOC appears to prize its relationship with a major human rights violator over the rights and safety of Olympic athletes,” Wang said, as reported by Radio Free Asia.
“The Chinese government forcibly disappears individuals whose views or conduct it sees as problematic, employs extralegal forms of detention and torture, and publishes forced confessions to make dubious cases appear legitimate,” the statement also read.
“By cooperating with Chinese authorities in this video call, the IOC failed to adhere to its own human rights commitments and to protect the free expression rights of Olympic athletes,” it charged.
On November 2, Peng issued a social media post that accused former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli, who is 40 years older than her, of sexual assault as well as forcing her into an affair.
She later supposedly issued an email to the World Tennis Association recanting the allegations, but the organization has called foul.
The WTA has now threatened to pull tournaments from China if Peng’s whereabouts and safety are not accounted for.
Sickeningly, the Chinese government said last week that it was “not aware” of the global controversy that has stemmed from the sudden disappearance of the international tennis star, The Blaze noted.
Beijing has been facing growing criticism from the global community in recent years over its human rights crackdown on the previously liberal autonomous region of Hong Kong as well as longstanding abuses of the Uighur minority group, which the U.S. State Department classified as genocide under President Donald Trump.
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