China refuses to release men investigating supplier producing Ivanka Trump items

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Beijing [China], June 7 (ANI): China's government has rejected a U.S. State Department call to release the three activists detained while investigating a Chinese company that produced shoes for Ivanka Trump and other brands. On Monday, Alicia Edwards, a deputy State Department spokeswoman, said that such labour activists can help American companies find abuses in the factories that make their products or parts, reports the New York Times. "We urge China to release them immediately and otherwise afford them the judicial and fair trial protections to which they are entitled," she said. According to the Guardian, the three activists were preparing to issue a report accusing factories that make shoes for the daughter of US president Donald Trump of a host of violations including paying below China's legal minimum wage, managers verbally abusing workers and "violations of women's rights". According to the report, one of the activists, Hua Haifeng, was detained by police on suspicion of "illegal use of monitoring equipment" and two others, Li Zhao and Su Heng, have gone missing and are presumed to be in police custody. Earlier Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for China's ministry of foreign affairs, said that the men working with China Labor Watch had been accused of using secret recording devices to disrupt normal commercial operations and would be dealt with under Chinese law. Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump's brand has declined to comment on the allegations or the arrests. She stepped back from day-to-day management of the company when she took on a White House role as advisor to her father - President Donald Trump, but retains ownership. Marc Fisher, which produces shoes for Ivanka Trump and other brands, has said it is looking into the allegations. (ANI)