Bizarre Events - One Activist Investigating Ivanka's Chinese Factory Arrested, Others Presumed Missing

Chinese officials have taken a man into custody after he was caught illegally carrying out surveillance on Ivanka Trump's shoe factory in China. Ivanka's shoe brand is manufactured at the facility, and the man was under the assumption that workers were laboring under unfair, abusive conditions.

Hua Haifeng, Li Zhao and Su Heng are part of a human rights advocacy group that suspected the first daughter of foul play. They became convinced that the Ganzhou Huajian International Shoe City Co. factory in Jiangxi province was abusing their labor force.

The trio began working undercover to bring find evidence of the violations.

The factory produces up to 20,000 pairs of shoes every year, a small fraction of the 20 million Ivanka's brand sells. Abigail Klem, who is managing Ivanka's brand while she works in Washington with her father, insists that the company is in compliance with 'all applicable laws and to maintain acceptable working conditions'.

The advocacy group, a New-York based operation known as China Labor Watch, didn't believe it. The watch-dog group has exposed other major corporations, such as Samsung, Walt Disney and Apple, for their workplace violations.

They claim that they had reason to believe that Trump's shoe factor was playing workers a paltry $1 per hour, and required more than 12 hours per day minimum of work.

The group began documenting the goings on at the shoe factor, believing that workers were being exploited by being forced to work brutally long hours. They also believed the factory were violating minimum wage laws.

"The workers all wanted to leave," said China Labor Watch Executive Director Li Qiang of one incident, "but they couldn't because if they did, they'd be fired. So they were forced to work until 1:30 a.m., and they had to go back to work the same morning at 7:10 a.m."

In the midst of the investigation, the three advocacy group members went missing. Li said he lost contact with the operatives, and he believes foul play is afoot.

“They must be held either by the factory or the police to be unreachable,” Li said. “Our plan was to investigate the factory to improve the labor situation. But now it has become more political.”

After he went missing, China Labor Watch found out that Hua Haifeng had been arrested for illegal surveillance, and was being held by police. They learned this after Hua’s wife got a phone call from authorities.

"They said, 'You only need to know that your husband has been arrested on criminal charges,' " Deng told NPR in a phone interview. "'You don't need to know anything other than that.'"

Li and Su have not yet been located, but it is presumed that they, too, may have been detained by authorities.

Hua’s wife is shocked by the way things have unfolded, though she stands by her husband. "I understand and support my husband's work," she says. "I feel his work is legal and meaningful, so why should they arrest him?"

Source: New York Post
Photo: CNN/YouTube Screenshots, scs/Twitter, Catalina Reasoner/Twitter

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