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Democracy Activists Detained in China, says HK  Rights Group - 2002-06-02

Authorities in China have reportedly detained at least two pro-democracy campaigners. The arrests were made just days before the 13th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown on Chinese democracy activists.

The Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy says two democracy activists in China were taken into police custody Saturday. Hua Huiqi and Liu Fenggang are being kept in a guesthouse along with Mr. Liu's wife and two-year-old son.

The center's director, Frank Lu, says he received the information through relatives of the detainees in China.

Mr. Lu says he believes Mr. Hua and Mr. Liu will be released in five days, after the June 4 anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown. He adds that security in Beijing is tighter than usual because this year the anniversary coincides with China's debut in the final of the World Cup.

Mr. Lu says it is likely that more pro-democracy campaigners will be arrested in the next few days as has been the practice in previous years.

Democracy activists in China recently signed an open letter demanding that Beijing reevaluate its official verdict that the 1989 student led pro-democracy movement was 'counter-revolutionary' aimed at toppling the state. The activists also demanded that Beijing release political prisoners and reform its Communist political system.

Hundreds and possibly thousands of people were killed June 3-4, 1989, when Chinese tanks and troops crushed the student led pro-democracy demonstrations around Tienanmen Square.