Ikea investigates Stasi prisoner labour claims

Swedish furniture giant Ikea is investigating claims that its factories East German political prisoners for labour during the 1970s and 1980s.

The claims, which will be aired on Swedish public television’s (SVT) Uppdrag Granskning programme on Wednesday, first emerged in a German television documentary aired on WDR in July 2011.

The world’s largest furniture retailer said it had previously investigated the claims when they were aired on WDR and found no evidence to support them, according to an Ikea statement released on Friday.

But on Saturday the company said it had requested documents from the former East German secret police or Stasi archives and is “interviewing people at Ikea who were around back then,” according to Ikea’s social and environmental manager Jeanette Skjelmose.

“So far there are no indications that we would have asked that prisoners be used in manufacturing or known about it,” she told the Swedish news agency TT.

“What we’re looking into now is whether it could have happened anyway, without our knowledge,” she said.

The show claims there is evidence to support the allegation that political prisoners were used. A reporter for the show found documents supporting the claim in the Stasi files, according to a trailer for the show on SVT’s website.

“After the German documentary, Ikea examined the issue to get a more complete picture of what happened. We have so far found no evidence to suggest that political prisoners were used in production,” the firm wrote in its Friday statement.

Ikea claimed in its statement that it takes the issue seriously and stated that regular inspections were made of the firm’s factories in the German Democratic Republic (GDR).

“We were clear in our demands then as we are now,” the firm stated.

During the 1970s, Ikea developed a strong manufacturing presence in the GDR, establishing operations in 65 locations across the country to produce parts and furniture.

The 2011 WDR documentary detailed claims, citing Stasi documents, that Ikea had a thorough cooperation with the East German authorities.

The programme illustrated the example of one factory, where Ikea’s popular Klippan sofa was produced, and which was located beside a prison in Waldheim.

A former prison chief told WDR that prison labour was an expected part of furniture production.

Ikea, an unlisted, family-owned company, is the world’s largest furniture retailer, with sales of €25 billion in 2011 and 131,000 employees at the end of its last fiscal year in August 2011.


Find this story at 1 May 2012 


Published: 1 May 12 10:12 CET
Updated: 1 May 12 23:37 CET

AFP/The Local/mw

Het gebruik van de telefoon- en internettap in de opsporing

De minister van Justitie heeft tijdens een Algemeen Overleg over tapstatistieken toegezegd een onderzoek te laten verrichten naar de effectiviteit van telefoon- en internettaps (TK 2009-2010, 30 517, nr. 16).
Dit rapport heeft als doel inzicht te bieden in het feitelijk gebruik van de telefoon- en internettap bij opsporing van strafbare feiten. In het onderzoek wordt uitgegaan van een getrapte vraagstelling:
Hoe wordt in Nederland gebruikgemaakt van de telefoon- en internettap tijdens het opsporingsproces?
Hoe wordt in enkele andere West-Europese landen (Engeland en Wales, Duitsland en Zweden) met dit opsporingsmiddel omgegaan?
Kunnen (grote) verschillen tussen deze landen in het gebruik van dit opsporingsmiddel worden verklaard?
Deze vraagstelling is uitgewerkt in verschillende onderzoeksvragen, die zich samen laten vatten als: hoe vaak, waarom en wanneer wordt de telefoon- en internettap ingezet, voor hoe lang wordt een tap aangesloten en wat voor een informatie levert het dan op?

De telefoon- en internetmarkt
Regulering van tappen in Nederland
Wat is een tap en hoe komt deze tot stand?
De tapstatistieken in Nederland
De telefoontap in de praktijk
De internettap in de praktijk
Alternatieven voor de tap
Het gebruik van de tap in Engeland en Wales
Het gebruik van de tap in Zweden
Het gebruik van de tap in Duitsland

Auteur(s): Odinot, G., Jong, D. de, Leij, J.B.J. van der, Poot, C.J. de, Straalen, E.K. van
Organisatie: WODC
Plaats uitgave: Den Haag

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