June 3, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
New York, NY – One Chinese labor activist has been arrested and two others are missing after investigating working conditions in a factory making Ivanka Trump-branded shoes, a New York-based advocacy group said May 31.
Hua Haifeng was arrested in Jiangxi province on suspicion of illegally using eavesdropping equipment, China Labor Watch executive director Li Qiang told Reuters. Li said the accusation against Hua had “no factual basis,” and his arrest was the first time in the group’s 17-year history and investigations of hundreds of factories in China that anyone had been charged with a crime. He said Hua and one of the missing investigators, Li Zhao, had worked undercover at a shoe factory in Guangdong province owned by the Huajian Group, while the third, Su Heng, had worked at a related factory in Jiangxi province. Su had not been heard from since May 27. The three had found evidence that workers’ rights were being violated, he added. Company officials, police, Chinese government officials, the Ivanka Trump brand, and the White House all did not return phone calls or declined to comment. Read more