Asia

Security tight in Beijing on anniversary of 1989 crackdown

  • A girl poses for a photo along the barriers surrounding Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Saturday, June 4, 2016. Saturday marks the 27th anniversary of China’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

    A girl poses for a photo along the barriers surrounding Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Saturday, June 4, 2016. Saturday marks the 27th anniversary of China’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)  (The Associated Press)

  • Visitors climb the steps of a pedestrian underpass while leaving Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Saturday, June 4, 2016. Saturday marks the 27th anniversary of China’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

    Visitors climb the steps of a pedestrian underpass while leaving Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Saturday, June 4, 2016. Saturday marks the 27th anniversary of China’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this May 29, 2016 photo, Qi Zhiyong, cetner, who lost a leg when he was shot by Chinese troops as they crushed pro-democracy demonstrations around Tiananmen Square on June 3 and 4, 1989, and June 4 commemoration supporters Jiang Jianjun, left, and Wang Fulei, right, pose for a photo near Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Security was tightened around Tiananmen Square on the 27th anniversary Saturday, June 4, 2016 of China's bloody military crackdown on student-led pro-democracy protests, pointing to the enduring sensitivity over the events with the Chinese leadership. At least half a dozen people have reportedly been detained in recent days for attempting to commemorate the events, although a small group, including Qi, wearing T-shirts condemning the crackdown converged on the square last Sunday. Qi's T-shirt reads: "Always remember June 4, inherit the ambition of the martyrs, pass on the torch, hold the baton of democracy." (Photo via AP) NO SALES, NO ARCHIVE

    In this May 29, 2016 photo, Qi Zhiyong, cetner, who lost a leg when he was shot by Chinese troops as they crushed pro-democracy demonstrations around Tiananmen Square on June 3 and 4, 1989, and June 4 commemoration supporters Jiang Jianjun, left, and Wang Fulei, right, pose for a photo near Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Security was tightened around Tiananmen Square on the 27th anniversary Saturday, June 4, 2016 of China's bloody military crackdown on student-led pro-democracy protests, pointing to the enduring sensitivity over the events with the Chinese leadership. At least half a dozen people have reportedly been detained in recent days for attempting to commemorate the events, although a small group, including Qi, wearing T-shirts condemning the crackdown converged on the square last Sunday. Qi's T-shirt reads: "Always remember June 4, inherit the ambition of the martyrs, pass on the torch, hold the baton of democracy." (Photo via AP) NO SALES, NO ARCHIVE  (The Associated Press)

Chinese authorities have tightened security around Beijing's iconic Tiananmen Square on the 27th anniversary of the bloody military crackdown on student-led pro-democracy protests.

Police on Saturday checked IDs and searched the bags of anyone seeking to enter the environs of the vast public space where thousands of students, workers and ordinary citizens gathered in 1989 to demand political reforms. Journalists from The Associated Press were stopped, filmed and ultimately forced to leave the area, ostensibly for lacking proper permission.

The heightened security points to the ruling Communist Party's continuing sensitivity over the events, which remain a taboo topic within China. Hundreds, possibly thousands, were killed as tanks and troops converged on Beijing on the night of June 3-4, 1989. Any form of commemoration, whether public or private, is banned.