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From Beijing to Hong Kong, China cracks down on dissent

DW, 04 Jun 2021
China has banned commemorations of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Social media users are even reporting that the candle emoticon cannot be used.

For several weeks leading up to June 4, 1989, the Tiananmen Square had become a focal point for protests against economic hardship and corruption. Students also gathered to demand democratic rights and freedoms from the Communist government. But by June 4, Chinese leaders sent in troops to crush the demonstrations. Footage of a lone protester standing in front of a line of tanks has become one of the most enduring symbols of the crackdown. No one knows exactly how many people were killed on June 4, 1989 - some say hundreds, others thousands.

DW speaks to Wu’er Kaixi who was one of the leaders of the student pro-democracy movement in China in 1989.

Meanwhile, authorities in Hong Kong have arrested lawyer and activist Chow Hang Tung. Usually, Chow would be leading a mass vigil for the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre, but Hong Kong authorities have banned the commemoration for a second year in a row.

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