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Chinese labor activists probing Ivanka Trump's shoe factory released on bail
he activists, charged with illegally using eavesdropping equipment while collecting information on a factory owned by Huajian Group, had been detained by authorities for about a month.
By Cliff Mooneyham
Contributor
Feb 17, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — The New York-based group China Labor Watch says that three labor rights activists arrested in China for investigating potential violations at one of Ivanka Trump's shoe factories were released on bail Wednesday.

The activists, charged with illegally using eavesdropping equipment while collecting information on a factory owned by Huajian Group, had been detained by authorities for about a month.

Although earlier this month the U.S. State Department called for the jailed activists to be released, China rejected the demand, saying the matter was "internal," according to a report by Bloomberg.

"To be released on bail to await trial is a clause used in cases where the crimes are not serious and the suspects are not dangerous," said Shanghai-based attorney Ai Yangyag of the Minton law firm. "There is no clear pattern on whether they will still be charged and go to trial, or not. It's on a case-by-case basis."

China Labor Watch claims that Huajian made some employees work 18 hours per day at what amounted to about a dollar an hour.

One of the activists, Li Zhao, sent two letters to the White House, urging Ivanka Trump to use her influence to obtain freedom for the three men. Li has not received a response to the letters, he said.

The president of the Ivanka Trump shoe brand, Abigail Klem, said earlier this month that its shoes stopped being produced at the Huajian factory in March.