Daily World News Digest, 3 June 2015

China: end denial about Tiananmen Massacre

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on 2 June calling on the Chinese government to acknowledge and take responsibility for the massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in June 1989. Authorities should release activists jailed for commemorating the occasion along with all others imprisoned in China for the peaceful exercise of their political views, the statement said. On 3 and 4 June 1989, the Chinese military opened fire and killed an unknown number of peaceful protesters and bystanders in central Beijing. Following the killings, the government implemented a national crackdown and arrested thousands of people for “counter-revolution” and other criminal charges. The government has never accepted responsibility for the massacre or held any perpetrators legally accountable for the killings. http://bit.ly/1AMXTF8

China ship capsize: hopes fade of finding Yangtze survivors

The BBC reports today that hopes are fading of any more survivors being found inside a cruise ship that capsized on China’s Yangtze River. The Eastern Star, with 456 mostly elderly people on board, overturned in bad weather on Monday night. Eighteen people are now confirmed to have died, according to Chinese state media, and 14 have been rescued – some had been trapped in air pockets inside the hull. Officials say they will keep looking for survivors. http://bit.ly/1IbyKnE

Peak sailing season sees more Mediterranean migrant rescues, deaths

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported on 2 June that the nearly 5,000 migrants rescued over the weekend as part of the expanded European Union search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean bring the total estimated number of people arriving by sea to Italy in 2015 to more than 45,000, a slight increase from the same period last year, when arrivals were 41,243. “These most recent narratives show how dangerous the journeys across the desert and the sea have become and highlight the risks to migrants posed by the smugglers and traffickers,” said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean. “IOM welcomes the EU decision to reinforce the Triton operation, whose operating range will be extended to 138 nautical miles south of Sicily. This will bring its remit close to that of (the previous Italian) Mare Nostrum operation. We hope that this will be able to reduce the number of deaths in the Mediterranean.” http://bit.ly/1FrSxMs

No clear-cut rules when searching for a missing person in Florida

The Naples Daily News from the US state of Florida reported on 2 June that in high-profile missing persons cases featured on national television, search efforts appear widespread and urgent. But the reality often looks different in the hundreds of missing persons cases handled by local authorities every year, sometimes to the disappointment of families who have come to expect the helicopters, rescue dogs and large-scale grid searches they see for other missing men and women. Five days after his 21-year-old daughter went missing, Troy King grew tired of waiting and started his own investigation. He drove to the East Naples hotel where she was last seen and walked around the area looking for clues. It took him 15 minutes to find his daughter. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office has declined to comment in more detail on the search efforts for Heather King, citing the ongoing investigation into her death. http://bit.ly/1MimJ1h

Missing Moscow woman believed to have joined Islamic State

The Moscow Times reported on 2 June that a 19-year-old Muscovite student has absconded to Turkey in an apparent attempt to join Islamic State in neighboring Syria, according to her father. Varvara Karaulova, a second-year student of Philosophy at Moscow State University, left on a one-way ticket to Istanbul last Wednesday. Pavel Karaulov, her father, says his daughter left the apartment she shared with her mother in the middle of the day and gave no indication that she would not be home for dinner that night. The student, whom her father described as an introvert, was last seen at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport and is thought to have gone from there to neighboring Syria or Libya. http://bit.ly/1FtjWgZ

Items in Daily World News Digest are summaries of published reports relevant to the issue of missing persons, compiled by ICMP staff.  These items do not necessarily reflect the position of ICMP.