WTA’s stance on Peng has made it human rights champion, says former U.S. official

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Nov 23 (Reuters) – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has develop into the world’s “most effective” human rights group over its management on the Peng Shuai case and willingness to lose cash to face by its ideas, mentioned Kelley Eckels Currie, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues.

The whereabouts of Peng, a former tennis doubles world primary, turned a matter of worldwide concern for almost three weeks after she posted a message on social media alleging {that a} former high Chinese authorities official had sexually assaulted her. She re-appeared over the weekend in Beijing.

The WTA, the primary organizational physique for girls’s tennis internationally, has referred to as for a clear investigation and assurances about Peng’s security and well-being, and has threatened to tug out of tournaments in China over the matter.

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“If you had told me a week-and-a-half ago that the Women’s Tennis Association was going to be the most effective and bravest human rights organization in the world I would have thought you were bananas but here we are,” Currie instructed Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

“The WTA is essentially putting more than a billion dollars on the line over the life of a single member of the Women’s Tennis Association.”

In 25 years of working in human rights, she had by no means seen any group “actually put something on the line like this for human rights,” mentioned Currie, the former U.S. Representative on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, nominated by then-President Donald Trump.

On Sunday, Peng held a video name with International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach, however the WTA has mentioned this didn’t tackle or alleviate its considerations about her wellbeing.

The United States, France, Britain and distinguished tennis gamers have all expressed considerations over Peng, a former Olympian.

It comes as Beijing is getting ready to host the Winter Olympics subsequent February. Global rights teams and others have referred to as for a boycott of the Games over China’s human rights report.

“The tennis season goes all year,” mentioned Currie. “As long as players continue to express concern for her and this continues to be an issue with the WTA and they continue to raise her case, it will continue to remain in some kind of spotlight.

“It will likely be a difficulty on the Olympics and earlier than that the Australian Open, after which Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Every time tennis does one thing and has an viewers she will likely be there.”

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Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, modifying by Rosalba O’Brien

Tennis - WTA Mandatory - Madrid Open - Madrid, Spain - May 6, 2018   China's Peng Shuai in action against Spain's Garbine Muguruza during their round of 64 match   REUTERS/Susana Vera

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