China denies accusations of ‘forced labour’ at the prison in the centre of the Tesco cards controversy

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China dismissed accusations of forced labour at a Shanghai prison on Monday, a day after media reports that a message had been found in a Christmas card saying it had been packed by inmates.

The Sunday Times said a young girl had found a note in a charity card sold by British supermarket giant Tesco reading: “We are foreign prisoners in Shanghai Qingpu Prison China. Forced to work against our will.”

Reuters report that the newspaper said the message urged whoever received it to contact Peter Humphrey, a British former journalist and corporate fraud investigator who was imprisoned in the same jail from 2014-2015.

Tesco suspended the Chinese supplier of the Christmas cards on Sunday and said it had launched an investigation.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a press briefing on Monday: “I can responsibly say, according to the relevant organs, Shanghai’s Qingpu prison does not have this issue of foreign prisoners being forced to work.”

Geng Shuang dismissed the whole story as “a farce created by Mr. Humphrey” – an accusation dismissed by Humphrey.

Via Reuters / Sunday Times 

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