SHOES IVANKA: THE 3 ACTIVISTS ARRESTED IN CHINA RELEASED ON BAILComments Off on SHOES IVANKA: THE 3 ACTIVISTS ARRESTED IN CHINA RELEASED ON BAIL
Originally published by The Sherbrooke Times on June 28, 2017
Three chinese activists arrested in may as they were investigating the working conditions in factories producing shoes for the line Ivanka Trump have been released on bail, announced on Wednesday that the association China Labor Watch.
The three men – Hua Haifeng, Su Heng and Li Zhao – were arrested while they were investigating secretly in the factories of the group Huajian, one of the chinese suppliers of the brand that bears the name of the daughter of the president of the United States.
The chinese police had later announced the continue to use of recording equipment and spy concealed in watches to steal industrial secrets.
China Labor Watch (CLW), the NGO based in the United States for the account of which the three activists were conducting the investigation, said Wednesday in a press release that they were out of prison.
“They phoned me to tell me they were placed on bail, for a period of one year” pending trial, told the AFP Li Qiang, director of the NGO, without being able to deliver details on their current situation.
Frances Eve, a researcher with the NGO Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) , has been informed of the release on bail by their counsel, master Wu, she indicated to the AFP.
“It is very rare to see workers rights activists released on bail”, commented from his side, Patrick Poon, a researcher of the NGO Amnesty International, fearing that the trio is now subject to multiple restrictions.
This release unusual “is perhaps due to international pressure surrounding the case”, he estimated. Washingon had urged Beijing to “immediately release” the investigators.
China Labor Watch said now hoped that the trio will have the right to “a fair trial”.
According to CLW, the three men had discovered that two factories of Huajian required their employees to work overtime and paid at wages below the legal minimum.
The brand of Ivanka Trump does not produce directly in China, but has entrusted a part of its production to companies that manufacture in this country of clothes, shoes or handbags.
In October, Huajian had confided to AFP that the group had produced approximately 100 000 pairs of shoes Ivanka Trump in recent years –and even though Donald Trump was complaining that during her campaign the companies launching operations in China.
China has strengthened considerably since 2015 its treatment of the activists of the rights of workers, in a country that prohibits independent trade union activity.