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And while people around the world gathered on June 4 together to commemorate the 1989 Massacre, the view from Beijing looked quite different. On Tiananmen Square Saturday--tourists as normal, no signs of public protests. But behind the scenes, China's communist regime has been marking the anniversary with heightened police presence, more arrests, and an ever-growing clampdown on dissidents and human rights advocates.
That includes the recent arrest of artist Ai Weiwei--on what many rights groups call trumped-up charges of tax evasion. Ai had been critical of the Communist Party—and spoke his mind. Other activists have shared similar fates.
And it's not just recent arrests. Five people who were arrested for protesting on Tiananmen Square back in 1989 are still locked up in Beijing prisons.
Even twenty-two years later, the Communist Party still refuses to allow the incident to be talked about in public--for fears any public marking of the crackdown could undermine the Party's grip on power.