After a month behind bars, three Chinese investigators who went undercover at a factory that made Ivanka Trump shoes walked freely out of the local police station Wednesday. But they still face an uncertain future and the threat of a trial.
Chinese authorities released the three, who have been accused of breaking the law by using secret cameras and listening devices. They were freed on bail, which is extremely rare for individuals who have been detained for alleged crimes, a possible sign they won’t be formally charged and put on trial.
But they’re not in the clear yet. Political dissidents and other activists who are released in China typically face restrictions on what they can do and say — including comments to the media. …
One of the activists, Hua Haifeng, was clearly relieved as he held his 3-year-old son outside the police station in Ganzhou, a city in southeastern Jiangxi province.
“I appreciate the media following my case the last month,” Hua told The Associated Press, “but I’m not ready to speak yet.”
Hua and colleagues in the labor rights group China Labor Watch were preparing to publish a report alleging low pay, excessive overtime, crude verbal abuse and possible misuse of student labor at Huajian Group factories. Some of the factories produced Ivanka Trump shoes, among other brands. …
Making Ivanka Trump Shoes: Long Hours, Low Pay and Abuse
Reprinted from The Washington Post by Erika Kinetz on June 28, 2017.
A worker with blood dripping from his head marked a low point in the tense, grinding life at a southeastern China factory used by Ivanka Trump and other fashion brands. An angry manager had hit him with the sharp end of a high-heeled shoe.
Workers from the factory, including one current and two former employees who spoke to The Associated Press, reported overtime that stretched past midnight, steep production quotas and crude verbal abuse at Ganzhou Huajian International Shoe City Co. They said beatings were not unheard of, but the shoe attack, which all three say they witnessed last year, was violent enough to stand out.
“He was bleeding right from the middle of the head,” the current worker said. …