A lawyer for one of three activists detained while investigating a Chinese company that produced shoes for Ivanka Trump in China said Tuesday that all three men were being held at the Ganzhou City Detention Center in southeastern China, where conditions were crowded but tolerable. The activists were working with China Labor Watch, a New York-based nonprofit organization, and were investigating Huajian Group factories, the AP reports. The US State Department called Monday for their immediate release. The company has denied allegations of excessive overtime and low wages. It says it stopped producing Ivanka Trump shoes months ago.
The lawyer, Wen Yu, said Tuesday that after a day and a half of waiting he was finally able to meet his client, Hua Haifeng. "His condition inside is OK. Nobody beat him," Yu said. "It's just that he has to sleep next to the toilet. People go to pee all night." He said the cell was crowded with 21 people who have been ordered not to speak with Hua. Yu said he was told the case was being handled by a national security team, rather than a criminal police squad. "This is strange because it is a small case," he said. Until Monday, the US government had not said anything about the fate of the three men. "We urge China to release them immediately and otherwise afford them the judicial and fair trial protections to which they are entitled," a US State Department spokesperson said. (Read more China stories.)