round of arrests of dissidents has started ahead of the 10th anniversary of the June 4 massacre, human rights activists say.
Li Bagen, a member of the outlawed China Democracy Party, was taken from his home in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Monday, the Hong Kong-based Information Centre of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China said.
New York-based Human Rights in China said Cao Jiahe, a magazine editor who circulated a petition this month to commemorate those killed in the Tiananmen Square massacre, was kept blindfolded and tied by belts at a Beijing house for four days last week.
Police officers kicked Cao as he knelt on the ground and refused to let him sleep for three days, the rights group said.
Cao, released on Friday, was left cut and bruised by the ordeal, according to the group.
Cao reportedly collected the signatures of Hu Jiwei and Wang Ruoshi, former chief editor and deputy chief editor respectively of the official Communist Party newspaper the People's Daily, before police raided his home, the centre said.
Beijing intellectual Yu Zhenbin was also said to have been detained on May 9 after writing articles advocating
democracy, human rights and political reform.
United States-based dissidents slammed Beijing yesterday for "cynically" allowing angry protests against Nato while forbidding commemoration of 1989.
The New York-based Free China movement said: "We mourn the tragic deaths of our fellow countrymen and women who were killed in the accidental US bombing attack. But we also mourn the lives of those who were mowed down by tanks in Tiananmen Square.
"We accuse Beijing of cynically using anti-Nato demonstrations to whip up a new, dangerous wave of nationalism in China."
The group denied it was unpatriotic. "We are challenging the Government to permit pro-democracy activists across China to peacefully demonstrate for their fundamental human rights on June 4," a spokesman said.
Beijing yesterday ruled out a re-evaluation of the crackdown, saying the decision to use military force against unarmed students was "correct".
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said: "The Communist Party and Government have made a correct and historical conclusion on the political turmoil which took place in the summer of 1989.
"That, more than anything else, will gain China the respect it desires."
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