【Japan Himalaya League】 Author: Beiji  Translator: Ranting

A video circulated on social media on Jan. 22 showed security personnel at the Australian Open forcibly confiscating two spectators’ T-shirts with “Peng Shuai’s” head and text on them. Critics have accused the Australian Open of putting business interests ahead of human rights.

The video shows that the stadium security personnel asked two spectators, a man and a woman, to take off their T-shirts, the front of the T-shirt is a picture of Chinese women’s tennis star Peng Shuai, below is the word “find”, the back of the T-shirt printed with the words “Where is Peng Shuai?” A few words.

A spokeswoman for the Australian network confirmed Sunday that no commercial or political clothing, banners or signs are allowed under their ticket conditions.

Critics say the Australian Open should not suppress voices concerned about Peng Shuai’s personal safety in order to worry about interests from Chinese-owned corporate sponsorship, and should stop harassing people concerned about human rights and calling for attention to Peng’s whereabouts, and immediately and publicly demand that the CCP government release her. There are related reports that one of the major commercial sponsorship partners of the Australian Open is the CCP high-end liquor Guojiao 1573.

Former world women’s tennis big sister and tournament commentator Martina Navratilova tweeted that the Australian Open organizers’ approach was “sad”.

File photo: Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai. (Photo from Voice of America)

The Australian Open organizers’ approach contrasts sharply with the position of the international women’s tennis association WTA, which has announced that it will not hold any tournaments in China in 2022 in order to protect Peng Shuai, with Women’s Tennis Association president Simon saying that “principle trumps profit”. This means that the WTA is prepared to sacrifice a large part of its annual revenue.

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai publicly accused Zhang Gaoli, a former member of the CCP’s Politburo Standing Committee and vice premier of the State Council, of forcing her to have sex with her on her Weibo account on Nov. 2 last year, which was quickly deleted. The incident sent shockwaves through international public opinion, and Peng subsequently lost contact with the outside world, while the CCP imposed strict online censorship on the information.

In the midst of widespread international attention, many people are still speaking out for Peng Shuai through various channels, and the International Olympic Committee has spoken with her under the arrangement of the Chinese Communist Party. Subsequently, the IOC issued a statement saying that Peng Shuai “lives at home in Beijing, she is safe and sound, but I hope her privacy is respected at this time”. In response to the IOC’s statement, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers introduced two bills last week to sanction it. Last Tuesday, the “Free Peng Shuai Act” was introduced, sanctioning the IOC president and other senior personnel; last Wednesday, the “Accountability for the IOC’s Complicity with China Act” was introduced, proposing to revoke the IOC’s tax-exempt status in the United States.

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Posted by: Ranting