Date
11 December 2017
Paramilitary policemen stand guard at the Monument to the People's Heroes at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Security has been beefed up as Wednesday marks the 25th anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. Photo: Reuters
Paramilitary policemen stand guard at the Monument to the People's Heroes at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Security has been beefed up as Wednesday marks the 25th anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. Photo: Reuters

Beijing on high alert on 25th anniversary of Tiananmen crackdown

Beijing is on maximum alert Wednesday on the 25th anniversary of the bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, with 100,000 security personnel standing guard in the capital city to prevent any commemorative event or demonstration.

The atmosphere is very tense, with the streets punctuated with armed military police and plain-clothed public security officers checking the identity of citizens in public areas, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.

Compared with the past, the suppression of June 4 protesters and civil rights activists this time is much larger, with dozens of people detained or placed under house arrest or forced out from Beijing, the report said. Several activists could not be reached by the media.

Wang Debang, a student leader of a pro-democracy group, is said to have been arrested suddenly at his home in Guangxi. His whereabouts are not known. Meanwhile, Ding Zilin, leader of the political pressure group Tiananmen Mothers, is reported to have been taken to Jiangsu.

Even foreign correspondents are banned or threatened from reporting on the June 4 crackdown, the report said.

Muxidi station in Beijing, near the area where the military crackdown in 1989 started and which saw the highest number of casualties during the bloodshed, has seen two of its exits closed until further notice.

At Tiananmen Square, a flag-raising ceremony was held at about 5am as usual, RTHK reported. But the place was guarded by a large number of public security officers, and people going into the square had to pass through security checks.

– Contact us at [email protected]

JH/JP/RC

EJ Insight reporter

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe