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China censors CNN over Tiananmen

From CNN Beijing Bureau Chief Jaime FlorCruz

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Beijing (China)
Civil Rights

BEIJING, China (CNN) -- China's government censors have been repeatedly blacking out CNN's coverage of the 15th anniversary of the bloody Tiananmen crackdown.

Since CNN started airing a series of Tiananmen-related packages last Monday, all but one of them have been censored.

Audio and video have been repeatedly blacked out -- sometimes selectively, but most of the time completely -- whenever CNN shows reports on the crackdown.

Live shots by Jaime FlorCruz from Beijing and Mike Chinoy in Hong Kong, as well as interviews with guests, including Columbia University's Andrew Nathan and former U.S. ambassador to China James Lilley, have all been blacked out.

CNN Correspondent Stan Grant's report on Chinese returning home from exile to do business was the only exception.

In 1989, Beijing authorities also blacked out CNN's live coverage of the pro-democracy protests.

The Chinese people did not see the tens of thousands of demonstrators crowding central Beijing and occupying Tiananmen Square for seven weeks.

They also did not see how the protest movement was violently suppressed by military tanks and troops 15 years ago on June 4.

Nowadays CNN broadcasts in China are available mostly in hotels and apartment compounds for foreigners, as well as in select government agencies and academic institutions.

As people around the world remember the crackdown, China has kept a tight reign on demonstrations at Tiananmen Square this week.

The ruling Communist Party still forbids independent political activity and has jailed or forced into exile most of the country's active dissidents.

At least 13 middle-aged men and women have been detained in twos and threes so far in separate incidents, The Associated Press reported.

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