A note found in Halloween decorations purchased in Portland, Ore., over a year ago may have carried a letter from a forced labor camp in China, reported The Oregonian.
Julie Keith was considering donating an unopened graveyard kit she bought at Kmart, but in October she opened it and discovered a letter, folded multiple times, claiming to be from a worker in a labor camp in Shenyang, China.
It began, "Sir: If you occasionally buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization. Thousands people here who are under the persicution of the Chinese Communist Party Government will thank and remember you forever."
The letter went on to say that workers labored for 15 hours a day without weekends or holidays off and were paid the equivalent of $1.61 per month.
"People who work here, suffer punishment 1-3 years averagely, but without Court Sentence (unlaw punishment). Many of them are Falun Gong practitioners, who are totally innocent people only because they have different believe to CCPG. They often suffer more punishment than others," it read.
Human Rights Watch told The Oregonian it could not "confirm the veracity or origin of this" but that it seemed consistent with descriptions of labor camps.
Kmart's parent company, Sears Holding Corporation, issued a statement, which claims that forced labor would not comply with its requirements for vendors, concluding, "We understand the seriousness of this allegation, and will continue to investigate."
[Image: Bottle With Message On The Beach on Shutterstock]