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China Blocks Popular Web Sites Ahead of Tiananmen Anniversary

China has detained an outspoken government critic and blocked access to many Internet services, as the government braces for the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests.

Users have posted angry messages on available sites after popular social networking Web site Twitter was blocked Tuesday. Several other Internet services were also out two days before the anniversary of the Chinese military's bloody suppression of the protests in Beijing on June 4, 1989.

The New York-based group Human Rights in China reports that prominent dissident Wu Gaoxing was seized Saturday at his home south of Shanghai. He is one of five people who signed an open letter to the government asking for better treatment of former Tiananmen Square protesters.

China has never allowed an independent investigation into the crackdown, and the number of victims remains a taboo subject.

Chinese authorities have stepped up security around Tiananmen Square to prevent any demonstration marking the event.

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China says that police have prevented at least four TV crews from entering the square and harassed a reporter who interviewed the mothers of the victims.

The group says on its Web site Tuesday that it has received reports of the authorities harassing journalists and their sources. Foreign correspondents cite reports of university students being interrogated after talking to journalists and of tighter censorship of Web sites, publications and TV channels.

Reports from Taiwan say lawmakers of the ruling Kuomintang Party delayed a vote on a resolution calling on Beijing to apologize to the victims of 1989 Tiananmen Square killings.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.