Law & Crime Politics & Protest SinoBeat

Activists detained in China for commemorating Tiananmen massacre as authorities suppress information on crackdown

Activists in China who commemorated the Tiananmen massacre have been detained, as mainland authorities clamp down on information related to the bloody events of June 4, 1989.

As tens of thousands attended a candlelight vigil in Victoria Park in Hong Kong on Sunday, discussion of the massacre was stifled in the mainland.

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Activists forming the Chinese characters for six and four with their bodies to commemorate the Tiananmen massacre on June 4, 1989. Photo: Patrick Poon.

Following months of student-led protests calling for democracy and an end to corruption, hundreds, perhaps thousands of people died when the Chinese government sent armed troops and tanks to end the demonstrations in Beijing.

At least eight activists who staged a creative tribute in Zhuzhou, Hunan on Saturday night were taken away by police on Sunday morning, according to Amnesty International researcher Patrick Poon.

The activists formed the Chinese characters for six and four with their bodies and took photos with a drone.

An activist named Chen Xiaoping will be detained for seven days, while his roommates were summoned by police and released Sunday afternoon, Poon said.

Guangzhou activist Li Xiaoling posted photos of herself holding a placard in front of Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Saturday.

Activists say that she was taken away by Beijing police in the early morning of Sunday, along with two others.

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Li Xiaoling in front of Tiananmen Square. Photo: Li Xiaoling.

Meanwhile, popular microblogging platform Weibo blocked overseas users from posting photos and video between Saturday and Monday, citing a system upgrade.

All users were also prevented from changing their personal information and commenting with photos on other users’ posts.

US-backed Radio Free Asia reported that security was boosted in Beijing before the anniversary, with police setting up roadblocks and identity checks around Muxidi, an area that was the site of battles between local citizens and Chinese troops in 1989.

Activists detained in China for commemorating Tiananmen massacre as authorities suppress information on crackdown