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Ikea regrets use of forced E. German prisoner labor two decades ago

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Friday, November 16, 2012 - 11:31 am

BERLIN – Swedish furniture giant Ikea expressed regret Friday that it benefited from the use of forced prison labor by some of its suppliers in communist East Germany more than two decades ago.

The company released an independent report showing that East German prisoners, among them many political dissidents, were involved in the manufacture of goods that were supplied to Ikea 25 to 30 years ago. The report concluded that Ikea managers were aware of the possibility that prisoners would be used in the manufacture of its products and took some measures to prevent this, but they were insufficient.

Ikea commissioned auditors Ernst & Young to look into allegations aired by a Swedish television documentary in June, but first raised by a human rights group in 1982.