BEIJING (AFP) - China has detained dozens of people, some of whom have been severely beaten, for trying to mark the death of former leader Zhao Ziyang, witnesses said.
The allegations came as the government intensified security to prevent mourners attending Saturday's funeral in Beijing for Zhao, the former Communist Party secretary general purged for opposing the 1989 military crackdown on the Tiananmen democracy movement.
At least three people, including a woman in her 70s, were punched and manhandled by police officers outside the government offices which receive complaints in the Chinese capital, witnesses said.
They were among some 60 people who pinned white paper flowers to their clothes, a traditional Chinese symbol of mourning, said a bystander who took pictures of the beatings and posted them on overseas websites.
"A man from Henan province was beaten badly. His left eyeball looked like it was beaten out of its socket and he had a one inch cut to his right eye," said the man who requested anonymity.