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Chinese Academic Beaten for Honoring Ousted China Leader བོད་སྐད།

A 75-year-old retired Chinese professor says he was brutally beaten while trying to pay his respects to late Chinese communist leader Zhao Ziyang.

The professor, Sun Wenguang, says five men attacked him on Saturday while he was trying to pay his respects to Zhao at a cemetery in eastern Shandong province.

Sun visited the grave during the annual Qingming festival or "grave-sweeping day" when the Chinese honor the dead.

Sun says the men who attacked him broke three of his ribs and that he is being treated at a hospital in Jinan.

Saturday's attack came two months before the 20th anniversary of the crushing of pro-democracy protests on Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

Zhao was purged after expressing sympathy for participants in the 1989 demonstrations.

There was no immediate comment from Chinese officials about the reported beating.

In 1989 in Beijing, Chinese troops and tanks killed hundreds and possibly thousands of demonstrators in Tiananmen Square.

The government has called the protests a counter-revolutionary rebellion and has rejected all calls to reassess its position.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.