Demonstrators confront Vatican Radio
Several hundred people demonstrated on Sunday outside the studios of Vatican Radio, accusing it of polluting the air with electromagnetic waves.
At issue is the station's transmitter in the town of Santa Maria di Galeria near Rome. Residents fear leukemia cases in the area may be linked to radio station's electromagnetic emissions.
Protesters carried an effigy of the Grim Reaper perched atop a mock radio tower with a sign saying "Electrosmog = Cancer". The skeletal, black-robed figure had a crucifix in one hand and a scythe in the other.
The Italian government, spurred on by public concern, has charged three Vatican officials with damaging the environment. They are scheduled to go on trial in the later this year.
The Vatican insists the transmissions are in line with less strict international standards and says its officials are shielded from Italian law by the extraterritorial status granted the Vatican and its properties under a 1929 pact that established Vatican City as an independent city-state.