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Lessons from Tiananmen 25 years on

  • Published: | Viewed: 3,309 | Comments: 5
  • Online news: Asia
  • Writer: Associated Press
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BEIJING: When visiting friends in China's capital, environmental activist Wu Lihong must slip away from his rural home before sunrise, before the police officers watching his home awaken. He rides a bus to an adjacent province and jumps aboard a train just minutes before departure to avoid being spotted. 

In a neighbouring province, veteran dissident Yin Weihong finds himself hauled into a police station merely for keeping in touch with old friends from the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement. While he's technically a free man, the treatment makes it virtually impossible to keep a job or have a normal home life.

A quarter century after the movement's suppression, China's communist authorities oversee a raft of measures for muzzling dissent and preventing protests. They range from the sophisticated -- extensive monitoring of online debate and control over media -- to the relatively simple: routine harassment of government critics and maintenance of a massive domestic security force.

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