BEIJING/LONDON (Reuters) – China dismissed accusations of forced labor 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.”
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.”