Washington, D.C. – Today, Democratic Women’s Caucus (DWC) Co-Chairs Congresswomen Jackie Speier (CA-14), Lois Frankel (FL-21), and Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), and Vice Chairs Congresswomen Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and Sylvia Garcia (TX-29) issued the following statement regarding ongoing concerns of the health and safety of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai following her allegations of sexual assault against a former Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli.
“We stand with tennis player Peng Shuai and all those seeking justice and accountability for sexual violence,” said the Members. “The disappearance from the public eye of Shuai remains bone-chillingly disturbing. The seriousness of these events cannot be overstated, especially given the People’s Republic of China’s record of human rights abuses against women that it seeks to repress. We join those in the Women’s Tennis Association, and around the world, in calling for immediate and independent proof of Shuai’s whereabouts and wellbeing and agree that the video released by the International Olympic Committee is insufficient. We also are calling for an independent investigation of the allegations of sexual assault.”
“Like the abuses in the Xinjiang region, Tibet, and Hong Kong, this is yet another example of the Chinese government’s unwillingness to respect human rights. They must be held accountable. In the absence of Shuai being able to speak openly and attest publicly to her safety and whereabouts, all options for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games must be on the table as well as other options to exert diplomatic pressure,” said the Members.