An email reportedly sent by Peng Shui raises new questions about her whereabouts: NPR

China’s Shuai Peng throws a shot during a tennis match on September 23, 2019 in Wuhan, China.

Wang He / Getty Images

hide caption

toggle caption

Wang He / Getty Images

China’s Shuai Peng throws a shot during a tennis match on September 23, 2019 in Wuhan, China.

Wang He / Getty Images

The head of the Women’s Tennis Association questions the authenticity of an email he received from Chinese star Peng Shuai, which has not been heard from since she made allegations of sexual assault against a top Communist Party official two weeks ago.

In copy of the email, published by China’s state-run CGTN, Peng reportedly tells WTA Chairman & CEO Steve Simon that the allegations attributed to her are “not true” and that “I’m not missing, nor am I insecure. I just rested at home and all is in order. “

Simon said in a statement on Wednesday that the email he received “only raises my concerns” about Peng’s “safety and whereabouts.”

“I find it hard to believe that Peng Shuai actually wrote the email we received or believe what is attributed to her,” he said.

Peng is a former No. 1-ranked player in women’s doubles who won titles at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014. In a lengthy post on social media earlier this month on China’s Weibo platform, she said former vice premier Zhang Gaoli “forced.” Her into sexual relations. Zhang, 75, served in the 2013 and 2018 positions.

“I was so scared that afternoon,” Peng wrote. “I never gave consent, crying all the time.”

The post was quickly removed and Peng’s social media account disappeared hours after it appeared. However, screenshots of the post continued to circulate widely online in China even as censors struggled to remove references to it.

Amnesty International intervened on Thursday, citing what it said China was trying to “systematically” silence the country’s #MeToo movement and its “zero-tolerant approach to criticism”.

“Peng’s recent so-called statement that‘ everything is good ’should not be taken lightly, as China’s state media has a trace of forcing statements from individuals under duress, or otherwise simply fabricating them,” said Doriane Lau, Chinese Amnesty Researcher. in a statement. “These concerns will not go away unless Peng’s safety and whereabouts are confirmed.”

Earlier this week, Japanese tennis professional Naomi Osaka expressed her concern in a tweet, saying she hoped Peng and her family “are safe and well.”

“I am shocked by the current situation and I am sending love and lighting her way. #Whereispengshuai,” she wrote.

World No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic also expressed concern and shock over Peng’s disappearance, as did French player Nicholas Mahut.

Leave a Comment