(RSF/IFEX) - Twenty years later, it is still impossible for the Chinese media to refer freely to the ruthless suppression of China's pro-democracy movement in June 1989. References to the demonstrations that took place throughout China for several weeks and the deaths of hundreds of students and workers at the hands of the army on 4 June 1989 are still strictly censored in the media and on the Internet. The information blackout has been enforced so effectively for 20 years that most young Chinese are completely unaware of this major event.
When Chinese Internet users search for 4 June in the photos section of Baidu, the country's most popular search engine, they get this message: "The search does not comply with laws, regulations and policies." The same search in the video section elicits this message: "Sorry, no video corresponds to your search." If you do an ordinary Internet search for 4 June with Baidu, you just get official Chinese statements about the events of 4 June.
The Chinese army's brutal crackdown on the student revolt in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1989 ended contemporary China's most important pro-democracy movement. A free press was one of the main demands of the protesters as well as many journalists and journalism professors. Some are still paying the price in terms of administrative punishments, constant police surveillance or forced exile.
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