Tens of thousands of people have gathered in Hong Kong to mark the 30th anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Demonstrators are holding a vigil in the city’s Victoria Park.

Hong Kong and Macau are the only places in China where people can commemorate the activists killed in 1989.

China has never said how many people died in the crackdown, but hundreds are believed to have been killed.

Everywhere else in China, the authorities have banned even oblique references to the crackdown.

Hundreds of security personnel and police were monitoring the square in Beijing on Tuesday.

In Hong Kong, thousands have gathered on the football fields of Victoria Park, holding candles and chanting slogans.

Those paying tribute to those who died in 1989 included some from the Chinese mainland.

A woman who gave her name only as Zhao said she had been taken to the protests in Beijing three decades ago by her mother.

“I feel grateful that Hong Kongers have continued to hold this vigil for 30 years,” she told the AFP news agency.

Leading Hong Kong activists expressed similar sentiments.

“It is very important that Hong Kong people continue to remember the June 4 tragedy,” said Richard Tsoi, vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China.

“And don’t let the Chinese authority try to erase the memory for the whole nation.”

The protests in Hong Kong come at a sensitive time for Hong Kong’s leadership, with public backlash over a proposed bill that would allow fugitives captured in the city to be extradited to mainland China.

Smaller vigils are also expected 40 miles away in Macau’s city centre, and on the self-governing island of Taiwan.

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