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Tiananmen toll 'exaggerated'

HONG KONG (Reuter) - The former United Nations Secretary- General, Javier Perez de Cuellar, said yesterday that human rights abuses in China, including the bloody 1989 army crackdown on student-led protests, had been exaggerated.

Mr Perez de Cuellar, who was in office during the crackdown in and around Tiananmen Square, said he had received no convincing evidence of widespread killing at that time. 'Tiananmen was exaggerated. I think it was a really cruel oppression but from there to say it was a tremendous, dramatic, tragic violation of human rights is an exaggeration,' he said at a bankers' lunch.