China blocks sites ahead of Tiananmen Square pro-democracy anniversary

June 3rd, 2009 - 12:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Beijing, June 3 (ANI): China’s government censors have begun to block access to Internet services Twitter, Hotmail and Microsoft’s live.com ahead of the 20th anniversary of the military crackdown that ended the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement.

The event falls on Thursday, reports the New York Times.

Blocked web sites are now throwing up error messages, a standard indicator that access to a site is being denied.

Chinese censors have already blocked access to all videos on YouTube and BBC World News reports related to the Tiananmen anniversary selectively.

Government censorship of political material on Internet bulletin boards and Web sites is common in China, but this is the first time Twitter has been blocked.

The South China Morning Post, an English-language newspaper based in Hong Kong that has frequently featured articles on Tiananmen and other sensitive issues, has also seen its distribution on the Chinese mainland curbed in advance of the anniversary on Thursday.

The anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown, in which army troops killed hundreds of student demonstrators, workers and ordinary citizens, is one of a series of politically sensitive dates this year that have provoked sweeping security measures by Chinese officials. (ANI)

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