A box of Halloween decorations purchased at a Kmart (NASDAQ:SHLD) contained a letter pleading for rescue from a Chinese forced-labor camp.
Julie Keith, of Damascus, Ore., purchased the decorations a year earlier, The Oregonian reports. The box spent a year in storage until Keith decided to use them to decorate for a child’s party. Inside the box, nestled between two plastic gravestones, was a note pleading for help.
Written in broken English and Chinese, it detailed that the kit was put together by forced labor in a Chinese prison camp that held political and religious prisoners. It asked anyone who found the note to contact the World Human Rights Organization so that some action could be taken to rescue the people in the camp.
“People who work here have to work 15 hours a day without Saturday, Sunday break and any holidays. Otherwise, they will suffer torturement, beat and rude remark. Nearly no payment (10 yuan/1 month),” the anonymous writer reported.
A spokeswoman for Human Rights Watch said the group had no way to confirm the story in the letter. She went on to say that the conditions the letter describes do conform to what’s know about forced-labor camps in China.
A letter from Sears Holdings, which owns Kmart, says it’s investigating the matter.