ROME – Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on Tuesday denounced a “climate of hatred” against the COVID-19 vaccination campaign after receiving death threats on social media.
Protests are planned on Wednesday against the government’s health passport, which restricts access to a range of services to those who cannot prove they have received at least one vaccination, recently tested negative, or have recovered.
“This is a worrying escalation, a climate of hatred that harms the country but will not stop the vaccination campaign,” wrote Di Maio on Facebook of the threats.
Protesters have announced that they will gather in front of many train stations in Italy and block the railways to protest against the requirement of health passports on trains.
“Another notorious person to be executed” and “You must die,” were some of the messages published in Telegram groups against Di Maio, Italian media reported.
In Italy there have been multiple reports of violence and threats against journalists and health workers in recent days.
Infectious diseases expert Matteo Bassetti said a man insulted him on the street near his home and a journalist with La Repubblica was attacked by a man on Monday while covering a demonstration against the health passport.
“The threats journalists, doctors and ordinary citizens have received in recent days cannot be tolerated,” said Di Maio.