Arrested, missing China activists spark criticism of Trump

Lance Nichols
June 1, 2017

Two Chinese labor activists investigating violations at a factory that makes Ivanka Trump shoes have been reported missing while a third has been detained by police, according to media reports. According to the AP, Haifeng has been arrested for "illegal surveillance", while the other two men have been reported as missing and have not responded to repeated contact from China Labor Watch or family members.

Li Qiang, the founder of China Labor Watch, told the Post workers being detained was unusual.

The three men were investigating Ganzhou Huajian International Shoe City Co.'s factory in Jiangxi province.

The activists took jobs between March and May at two factories run by the Huajian Group - one in Jiangxi and the other in Guangdong - in order to investigate labour practices at the company, Li said.

Both factories produced Ivanka Trump-branded shoes, Li Qiang said.

As if political news couldn't get any more shocking, Ivanka Trump now finds herself in the middle of a potential scandal in China.

Li said the men had documented excessive overtime, with working days sometimes stretching longer than 18 hours, and a base salary below minimum wage.

Rights group Amnesty International called for the release of the three if they were held only for investigating possible labour abuses at the factories.

"This never happened before in my 17 years' experience". The Ivanka Trump brand declined to comment for this story.

"We were unaware of the allegations and will look into them immediately", a spokeswoman for Marc Fisher, which manufactures Ivanka Trump, Easy Spirit and its own branded shoes, said in an email Tuesday. They make millions more for others, including Coach and Nine West.

Police said they believed alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash. Police say Jordan punched his girlfriend as she was driving a van carrying him and her four children along an IN highway Sunday, May 28, 2017, causing a single-car crash that killed her 6-year-old daughter.

The investigators had discovered evidence that workers' rights had been violated, Li said.

Skeens and Jordan were arguing when he allegedly punched her and grabbed the steering wheel, causing her to lose control of the van, which careened off the highway and rolled over into a ditch, according to a release issued by the Indiana State Police. "He said he missed Papa", Deng said by phone from her home in central China's Hubei province.

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