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June 4th marks the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre

Riot police form a line as they check pedestrians gathered in the Central district of Hong...
Riot police form a line as they check pedestrians gathered in the Central district of Hong Kong, Wednesday, May 27, 2020. (Source: AP Photo/Vincent Yu)(Associated Press)
Updated: Jun. 4, 2020 at 7:14 AM CDT
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HONG KONG (CNN) - Thirty one years ago, Chinese troops cracked down on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tianamen Square.

Protesters faced tanks head-on, as the Chinese military opened fire.

No official death toll has ever been released, but rights groups estimate hundreds, if not thousands were killed.

The Tiananmen protests and the crackdown have been wiped from the history books in China, censored and controlled, organizers exiled or arrested, and the relatives of those who died kept under tight surveillance.

Every year since then, people in Hong Kong have held a candlelit rally to mark the anniversary, the only mass memorial held on Chinese soil and a key emblem of the semiautonomous city’s political freedoms. Every year, that is, until this year.

For the first time in 30 years, Hong Kong will not commemorate the event with a candlelight vigil.

Officials refused permission, citing coronavirus restrictions, meaning that in 2020, no place on Chinese soil will officially commemorate the tragic event.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)