• All Share : 49317.43
    UP 0.05%
    Top 40 : 3465.88
    DOWN -0.32%
    Financial 15 : 15396.63
    DOWN -0.63%
    Industrial 25 : 61919.92
    UP 0.23%

  • ZAR/USD : 11.6204
    UP 0.61%
    ZAR/GBP : 18.1657
    UP 0.40%
    ZAR/EUR : 14.2578
    UP 0.45%
    ZAR/JPY : 0.0973
    UP 0.23%
    ZAR/AUD : 9.4918
    UP 0.60%

  • Gold : 1197.9400
    UP 0.14%
    Platinum : 1200.5000
    UP 0.21%
    Silver : 15.9650
    UP 0.73%
    Palladium : 790.5000
    UP 0.19%
    Brent Crude Oil : 59.870
    UP 1.01%

  • All data is delayed by 15 min. Data supplied by I-Net Bridge
    Hover cursor over this ticker to pause.

Fri Dec 19 13:41:57 SAST 2014

Ikea admits political prisoners made its furniture, apologises

Sapa-dpa | 16 November, 2012 16:29
Former East German prisoners attend a news conference where Swedish furniture maker IKEA presents a study investigating the possible use of political prisoners in the production of furniture at a news conference at the Stasi documentation centre in Berlin November 16, 2012.
Image by: THOMAS PETER / REUTERS

Ikea admitted Friday that political prisoners in communist East Germany were forced to make some of the Swedish home-furnishings giant's products in the 1980s and apologised.

It released in Berlin a report by independent auditors Ernst and Young into allegations by the former prisoners that they had to make furniture and accessories in prison workshops. They were threatened with solitary confinement and other punishment if they refused.

Some Ikea executives were aware at the time, 25 to 30 years ago, that East German suppliers were using jailed dissidents as labour along with regular criminals.

"We very much apologize that this could have happened," said Jeanette Skjelmose, a spokeswoman for Ikea which runs self-service megastores round the globe selling stylish but cheap furniture of its own design.

Ikea ordered the study after ex-prisoners aired the allegations last year on German television. The repressive East German communist government collapsed at the end of 1989 and within weeks, the political prisoners were freed.

SHARE YOUR OPINION

If you have an opinion you would like to share on this article, please send us an e-mail to the Times LIVE iLIVE team. In the mean time, click here to view the Times LIVE iLIVE section.