“Peng Shuai is Definitely Not Safe” says Chinese Human Rights Lawyer

Despite assurances from the Chinese government and a couple of video chats with the IOC, Peng Shuai is “definitely not safe” says Chinese dissident and human rights lawyer Teng Biao.

In an interview with CNN International’s Julia Chatterley, the visiting professor at the University of Chicago said he believes Peng Shuai is completely controlled by goverment officials right now.

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“Of course, Peng Shuai is not safe,” Teng Biao told CNN International. What we know [from those videos] is she’s still alive, she’s still in China. But she is definitely not safe, not well and she’s totally controlled by the Chinese authorities.

“And nobody knows where she is being detained. And so the athletes, if they go to China, and nobody can guarantee their safety…”

Peng Shuai alleged a former Chinese Vice Premier sexually assaulted her in a social media post on November 2nd. The former world No. 1 doubles player went missing before China’s state media issued video and images of her in China. The former Wimbledon champion has also conducted video chats with the IOC, which says she claims she is okay.

Last week, WTA CEO Steve Simon announced all of the Tour’s 2022 tournaments in China and Hong Kong are suspended. Simon said that suspension could last beyond 2022 unless China agrees to an independent investigation into Peng Shuai’s sexual assault claims against a former Chinese Vice Premier and her safety is verified.

It’s the first time a sports league has taken such a stand in China. After Simon’s statement, both the ATP and ITF announced they will continue to host tournaments in China.

Teng Biao, who says he was detained several times by Chinese authorities while representing human rights causes, asserts alleging forced confessions are common among activists and critics of the Chinese state.

Photo credit: WTA

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