The two Romanian gypsy girls had gone down to the Naples tourist beach with a few trinkets, maybe to sell, maybe to provide cover for a morning of purse and wallet thefts. These are tough girls - hanging around London ATMs ready to grab a wad of dispensed cash from the slow and unwary, I've seen them front-down police officers, refuse to move on. But even tough little thieves get hot on an Italian beach; they went to swim, struggled, drowned.
The two nineteen year old lads had travelled together from their village in the Congo, paying down with stolen funds their places on a leaky fishing boat that would get them into Europe. The boat never made it. The bodies of the boys, still together, were washed ashore on a Lampedusa beach.
What the two incidents have in common is the treatment of the corpses. In both instances these were not only left for many hours on the beaches concerned, but in both instances photos have emerged of holidaymakers getting back to sunbathing and swimming around them. Now I know that depth of field and skilled photography can fool the eye, and those bathers who appear just yards away are probably a hundred feet distant, but the photos don't lie in showing their exposed corpses lying alone and only partially covered, unbarriered and unguarded, with no officer or official respectfully watching over them.
The care, preparation and burial of the dead is one of the corporal works of mercy that establish our humanity. Let us be shamed that our attitudes to these people in life should not last in death. We are all equal in death.