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Page last updated at 05:57 GMT, Wednesday, 4 June 2008 06:57 UK

Rally to mark Tiananmen victims

By Vaudine England
BBC News, Hong Kong

A policeman on patrol in Tiananmen Square on 3 June 2008
The number of people who died in Beijing's main square remains unclear

Supporters of democracy and human rights in China are preparing for their annual rally and vigil in Hong Kong.

The date marks the 19th anniversary of the brutal crackdown on student and other demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989.

Hong Kong is the only place under Chinese sovereignty where protests are freely allowed on this important date.

This year, concern will also be expressed for the victims of the Sichuan earthquake.

Quake donations

Thousands of Hong Kong residents have gathered every year since 4 June 1989, lighting candles and calling for democracy and human rights in China.

It is an act of remembrance to honour the students and other demonstrators who were killed when soldiers and tanks moved into Tiananmen Square.

Democrats in Hong Kong have continued to press for a proper accounting of how many died.

This year they will also raise money for victims of the devastating earthquake in Sichuan.

The event is organised by the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movement in China.

Its spokesman, Cheung Man-kwong, said both the victims of Tiananmen and Sichuan would be remembered.

"Of course we are concerned about the Sichuan earthquake, so that's why we agree and decide to donate all the money from the 4 June rally in Victoria Park," he said.

"I think we will show our concerns about our people in Sichuan, about the earthquake of China."

The suffering of Chinese people in the Sichuan earthquake offers an opportunity for democracy activists to say that while they might not support the Chinese government, they do support the Chinese people.

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