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Thousands in Hong Kong Mark Anniversary of China's Tiananmen Square Crackdown


Demonstrators hold a candlelight vigil for protesters crushed during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing at the Liberty Square of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, in Taipei, Taiwan, June 4, 2011.

Demonstrators hold a candlelight vigil for protesters crushed during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing at the Liberty Square of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, in Taipei, Taiwan, June 4, 2011.

The Chinese city of Hong Kong was the scene Saturday of demonstrations to mark the 22nd anniversary of the bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown during which hundreds, perhaps thousands, died.

On June 4, 1989, the Chinese government sent tanks and soldiers into the square in central Beijing, the Chinese capital, to crush weeks of pro-democracy demonstrations.

Tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong held up candles in a night time vigil Saturday in Victoria Park, turning the area into a sea of lights.

The anniversary was not marked by China's state-run media. Tiananmen Square was open Saturday and packed with tourists as usual, but was under heavy security.

On the democratic island of Taiwan, which China claims as its own, President Ma Ying-jeou issued a statement calling on China to respect human rights, institute political reforms and release imprisoned dissidents.

The U.S. State Department also called on China to release jailed dissidents and account for those killed, detained or missing in the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

But a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman (Hong Lei) Saturday insisted the matter is closed.

Saturday's anniversary is being marked in the midst of another Chinese government crackdown, this one against activists, lawyers, writers and bloggers.

The group Chinese Human Rights Defenders said Saturday that security officers took former government official Bao Tong to an unknown location this week. And the Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said liberal intellectual Chen Ziming and many others have been placed under house arrest.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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