Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Activist expelled from Wimbledon over Peng Shuai protest

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An activist who shouted “Where is Peng Shuai?” and held up a banner with the same message that was removed from Center Court during the Wimbledon men’s final on Sunday.

Drew Pavlou, an activist who staged a similar protest at the Australian Open this year, said he shouted the message during a stoppage in play and was then forcibly removed from the stadium.

“I didn’t want to interrupt the game itself, so I waited to make sure there was a break in the game and then I just held up a sign that said, ‘Where is Peng Shuai?'” Pavlou told The Associated Press. . “And I just said, ‘Where is Peng Shuai? This Chinese tennis star is being persecuted by the Chinese government. Why isn’t Wimbledon saying anything?'”

Peng is a retired professional tennis player from China who last year accused a former high-ranking member of the country’s ruling Communist Party of sexual assault. He has made very few public appearances since then.

On Monday, four activists wearing “Where is Peng Shuai?” Wimbledon security stopped the jerseys and searched their bags.

Pavlou said he smuggled the sign onto the All England Club grounds by folding it and hiding it in his shoe. He also had a t-shirt with the message tucked into the waistband of his jeans.

He shouted the protest early in the third set of the match between Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios. Djokovic eventually beat Kyrgios, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3).

“I tried to be as loud as possible,” said Pavlou, who is Australian. “I yelled it out because I wanted people to hear it.”

Pavlou said security tackled him to the ground and then four of them pinned him with their arms behind his back and took him to a public area off Center Court. He said he was then told to leave the grounds.

He tried to go back in a short time later, but was told by a security guard that his tickets had been cancelled.

The All England Club said Pavlou was removed “after disrupting the game by screaming, running down the stairs and disturbing his fellow spectators”.

At the Australian Open, a spectator was removed from the grounds for wearing a shirt supporting Peng, but the tournament later reversed its decision and allowed people to wear the clothing as long as they did not congregate in large groups or cause trouble. other viewers.

Peng disappeared from public view last year after accusing former Communist Party official Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault. Her accusation was quickly removed from the internet and her discussion of her remains heavily censored.

Peng won two Grand Slam women’s doubles titles in her career, including at Wimbledon in 2013.

The women’s professional tennis tour has canceled its tournaments in China due to the situation surrounding Peng.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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