Chinese human rights lawyer Teng Biao thinks Peng Shuai made a "forced confession" during her interview with L'Equipe. Peng was reported missing in early December after accusing a former Chinese vice premier of sexual assault.
On Monday, L'Equipe released an interview they conducted with Peng. In the interview, Peng claimed she never went missing and she never accused anyone of sexual assault. "They would be forced to say what the Chinese authorities told them to say under great pressure.
This is certainly the case with Peng," Biao told Deutsche Welle.
Peng insisted she's safe and well
"First of all, I would like to thank all the ATP and WTA players, all the athletes and all the personalities in large numbers who cared about me," Peng told L'Equipe.
"But I didn’t think there would be such concern and I would like to know: why such concern? I never disappeared, everyone could see me”. Peng was asked what happened with her post on Weibo in which accused a former Chinese vice premier of sexual assault.
Peng said it was just a missunderstanding and it was her that deleted the post. "[My post on Weibo] has given rise to a huge misunderstanding from the outside world," Peng said. "I hope that we no longer distort the meaning of this post.
I never said anyone sexually assaulted me." When asked why it took her so long to establish contact with the outside world, Peng claimed she couldn't respond to so many messages. "It’s just that a lot of people, like my friends, including from the IOC, messaged me, and it was quite impossible to reply to so many messages.
But with my close friends, I always remained in close contact," Peng said. "I also discussed this with the WTA. But, at the end of the year, their website’s communication computer was changed and many players had difficulty logging in at that time."