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China blocks internet in Tiananmen alert

Chinese authorities blocked popular websites like Twitter and Flickr yesterday after expelling dissidents from Beijing in a clampdown before the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests.

An exiled former student leader Chai Ling, meanwhile, issued a rare public statement before tomorrow's anniversary of the bloody crackdown, calling for the release of political prisoners, an independent investigation into the events and permission for former student leaders to return home.

"The current generation of leaders who bear no responsibility should have the courage to overturn the verdicts" on the protests, said Mr Chai, in a statement distributed by the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy.