Hong Kong recalls Tiananmen killings, China muffles dissent

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Beijing: Tens of thousands of people held a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong to mark the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters 25 years ago in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, while mainland China authorities sought to whitewash the 1989 event.

In Beijing, police flooded the streets around the square, scene of the worst of the violence a quarter of a century ago, and censors scrubbed the Internet clean of any mention of the rare open display of defiance against the Communist Party.

A large number of mainland Chinese also flocked to commemorate the crackdown in the former British territory, where a vigil has been held every year since the massacre. Organizers said some 180,000 people took part.

China has never released a death toll from the crackdown after troops shot their way into central Beijing, but estimates from human rights groups and witnesses range from several hundred to several thousand.