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Corpses of beggar girls left on beach|
Sunday, July 20, 2008
This chilling picture shows Italian holidaymakers enjoying the sun while ignoring the bodies of two Roma children who had just drowned.
Beach-goers covered Viola Ibramovitc, 11, and Cristina Ibramovitc, 12, with beach towels but otherwise left their corpses untouched for more than an hour until a mortuary van arrived.
The indifference to the deaths at the weekend has raised questions about ­Italy's attitude to Roma people.
The pair, who are related but not sisters, were among four children who had gone on to a beach at Torregaveta, north of Nap­les, to beg and sell trinkets.
'The water was rough and no-one was in the sea but these four Roma children just rushed into the huge waves,' one witness told an Italian TV channel.
When the children started to scream for help, some onlookers went in and rescued two but pulled Cristina and Viola from the water dead.
The bodies were then left on the beach as holidaymakers continued to sunbathe or play football.
'It was very surreal,' the witness added.
'There was this picture of a typical Italian beach with families enj­oying the sun and then, just metres away, were the bodies of these two children.'
A Naples coastguard said: 'When we got there, there was nothing we could do and so we simply called the mortuary.'
Last month, Italian interior minister Roberto Maroni announced controversial plans to fingerprint all Roma children.
The measure would stop parents sending their children out to beg instead of sending them to school, he said.
Gypsy's left on the beach