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Tiananmen activist says China blocks his entry

Tiananmen activist says China blocks his entry

An activist who had participated in the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square has been blocked from entering China despite a campaign to persuade Beijing to allow the return of dissidents 20 years after the crackdown on the demonstrations.
Since the violent clampdown _ in which hundreds, possibly thousands, are believed to have been killed _ some activists have made a quiet rapprochement with officials, returning for low-profile visits to elderly parents or other family members.
But many have been barred, and the recent case comes as China warily marks several sensitive anniversaries: 20 years since the protests, 50 years since a Tibetan uprising and a year since deadly riots in Tibet.
Yi Danxuan, who is now a U.S. citizen, said Wednesday he was stopped at a border crossing between Hong Kong and the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen last Friday.
"My visit must have touched their nerves as it comes at a sensitive time," said Yi, who had planned to visit his parents in southern Guangdong province. He had successfully entered China last year for the first time since fleeing.
China has never given a full account of what happened in Tiananmen Square. Hundreds of students and others who participated in the demonstrations went into exile in the U.S. or Europe after the bloody crackdown.
A Hong Kong campaign, organized by the Rev. Chu Yiu-ming, has been lobbying China to allow other exiled activists to reunite with their families.
"It's been 20 years since these dissidents have left home. It's time for them to return and be with their family," the preacher said.
Yi, a 41-year-old management consultant who now lives in Boston, said he had been allowed to visit his parents last year ahead of the Olympics.
Chinese border control officials revoked his visa from that visit _ which was valid until December 2009 _ when they stopped him Friday, he said.
A student activist in southern Guangzhou during the 1989 pro-democracy movement, Yi was arrested afterward and sentenced to two years in prison. He moved to the United States in 1992 after being released.
"China might have moved on with its economic and infrastructure development, but there's still no protection of basic human rights and freedoms," he said.
Chu said Beijing is unlikely to allow the dissidents to come home as China faces a series of sensitive and possibly volatile anniversaries this year, including this week's 50th anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising.


Updated : 2020-12-05 14:27 GMT+08:00