Child finds a note from ‘Chinese prison slave’ desperately asking for help

Florence, the six-year-old British girl, was writing Christmas cards for her school pals when she found that one of the cards with a Santa hat and a small kitten had already something written on it.

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It has been recently making the rounds that Tesco, a British retail store, has suspended their contract of charity Christmas cards with a Chinese factory after one of their customers, a six-year-old child, found a worker’s message written inside the card.

It was a note written by prisoners in Shanghai, which claimed the fact that they work forcefully without their will.

The message stated, “Please help us and notify human rights organisation.”

Tesco has expressed disbelieve and shock at the report. In addition to it, they said, “We would never allow prison labour in our supply chain.”

As mentioned by the supermarket, in case the accusations of having prison labour prove to be right, Zhejiang Yunguang Printing, the supplier of the cards would be de-listed.

Florence, the six-year-old British girl, was writing Christmas cards for her school pals when she found that one of the cards with a Santa hat and a small kitten had already something written on it.

It was written in capital writing, “We are foreign prisoners in Shanghai Qingpu prison China. Forced to work against our will. Please help us and notify human rights organisation.”

Furthermore, it was mentioned in the card to contact the British journalist, Peter Humphrey, as he was once imprisoned himself almost three years ago.

Florence was writing her eighth card when she found the Santa hat card with words already written. She was shocked, and after her parents explained what was written in the card, she said she felt sad for all those people.

Ben Widdicombe, father of the little girl initially thought of it as some prank. He said, “But on reflection, we realised it was potentially quite a serious thing. I felt very shocked but also felt a responsibility to pass it on to Peter Humphrey as the author asked me to do.”

He further added, “It hits home. There are injustices in the world, and there are people in difficult situations, and we know about that, and we read about that each and every day.”

“There is something about that message hitting home at Christmas… that really does make it very poignant and very powerful.”

Additionally, Mr Widdicombe said, “It could have ended up anywhere. And indeed we have many cards as all families do that is leftover, and we put them in a drawer and forget about them. There is an incredible element of chance in all of this that the card was written, it got to us, and we opened it on the day we did.”

Apart from that, the official spokesperson of Tesco has stated, “We were shocked by these allegations and immediately halted production at the factory where these cards are produced and launched an investigation.”

All other cards by Zhejiang Yunguang Printing have been checked, and thankfully, there wasn’t anything else written on any of it.

Beijing’s side of the story!

Beijing has dismissed the entire claim calling it false and propagated. Geng Shuang, the spokesman of Foreign Ministry in China, said, “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.”

He further stated that this entire story is fabricated by Peter Humphrey; whereas, Humphrey denied the accusation.

Addressing the accusations of Geng Shuang, Humphrey said, “I never had any possible way to make up anything at all in this incident and this story.”

“This message from prisoners in China came in a Christmas card purchased by a family who I’ve never met, never known until that moment in time,” he added.

The story first published in BBC.


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