Leaders prevent democracy rallies

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Beijing is detaining or harassing droves of people it fears could stir unrest during the annual parliament session.

The country's leaders are worried that uprisings in the Middle East could embolden dissent, and yesterday tightened media controls. After there was an online call for a pro-democracy gathering in central Beijing at the weekend, police flocked to the Wangfujing shopping area to prevent it from occurring. Some foreign reporters were assaulted at the site. Authorities threatened to revoke the visas of those deemed to be "illegally reporting"