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6-Year-Old British Girl Opens Box Of Christmas Cards. One Has Desperate Message Inside From Chinese Prison.

A six-year-old London schoolgirl, opening a box of charity Christmas cards to send them to friends, got a surprise when one of them had a desperate message from a Chinese prison inside it.
As Peter Humphrey of the London Times reports,Florence Widdicombe opened a box of Tesco charity Christmas cards only to find a message written inside one that read, “We are foreign prisoners in Shanghai Qingpu prison China. Forced to work against our will. Please help us and notify human rights organization.”
Humphrey continued: 
Florence’s father Ben googled the name, and found a story about a former British journalist who had spent two years in jail in China — at the same Qingpu prison. That journalist was me.
On Monday I received a startling message through the LinkedIn business network. It was from Mr Widdicombe, a civil servant specialising in criminal justice, who explained about the card from Qingpu. I was suddenly plunged back to a painful two-year period of my life when I was working in Shanghai as a corporate fraud investigator. My activities upset the Chinese government, which jailed both me and my American wife, Yu Yingzeng, on bogus charges that were never heard in court.
Humphrey noted that he no idea which of any of the prisoners in the prison wrote the note, but he was certain they knew him from his 23-month stint in the prison.
Humphrey wrote that when he discussed the issue with several ex-prisoners from Qingpu prison, some confirmed that prisoners indeed were involved in the manual assembly or packaging tasks dealing with cards. One told Humphrey, “They have been packing Christmas cards for Tesco, and also Tesco gift tags, for at least two years … The foreign prisoners just package the cards. They pick different designs, put them into boxes, seal them and pack them into shipping cartons.”
Ben Widdicombe said it would have been “wrong not to pass it on to its intended recipient. It must have been very risky for those prisoners.” 
Tesco commented, “We abhor the use of prison charity Christmas cards labour and would never allow it in our supply chain. We were shocked by these allegations and immediately suspended the factory where these cards are produced and launched an investigation. We have also withdrawn these cards from sale whilst we investigate. We have a comprehensive auditing system in place and this supplier was independently audited as recently as last month and no evidence was found to suggest they had broken our rule banning the use of prison labor. If a supplier breaches these rules, we will immediately and permanently de-list them.”
Humphrey noted, “In 2012 an American charity worker opened a box of Chinese-made Halloween decorations to find an unsigned letter from an inmate at the Masanjia labour camp in Shenyang, China … In 2017 another Chinese message surfaced in a Christmas charity card sold by Sainsbury’s to Jessica Rigby of Braintree, Essex. Rigby had the Chinese characters translated and was told they read: “Wishing you luck and happiness. Third product Shop, Guangzhou Prison, Number 6 District.”
Kenneth Kennedy, a senior policy adviser for forced labor programs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, told Humphrey, “This is an enormous industry in China.”

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