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3 Chinese Dissidents Visit US Capitol to Mark Tiananmen Anniversary


U.S. lawmakers in Washington have met with three Chinese dissidents who spent years in prison for joining protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited the dissidents to the Capitol Thursday for a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of China's June 4 crackdown on the protests.

Chinese authorities arrested the three activists in 1989 after they defaced a giant portrait of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square. China paroled two of them, Lu Decheng and Yu Zhijian, in 1998, and released the third, Yu Dongyue, in 2006.

The men now live in exile in North America. Pelosi said the United States "will never forget" what she called the "outrage" of China's military suppression of the Tiananmen movement. Hundreds of people were killed.

Pelosi visited China last week with a congressional delegation for talks with Chinese officials on cooperation in combatting climate change. Some rights activists accused her of not doing enough to address human rights problems in China during the trip.

Pelosi says she gave Chinese President Hu Jintao a list of prisoners of conscience who she wants Beijing to release. She says the list includes Liu Xiaobo, who was arrested last year for organizing an online petition for democracy known as Charter '08.

On a previous Beijing visit in 1991 as a U.S. House member, Pelosi unfurled a banner in Tiananmen Square commemorating pro-democracy activists killed in the 1989 crackdown.

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

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