Italy Green Pass protest leader detained in Rome

Police in Rome detain Forza Nuova leader.

Giuliano Castellino, leader of the neo-fascist Forza Nuova group and one of the driving forces behind Italy's 'No Green Pass' protests, was detained by police in Rome early on Monday morning.

Castellino was taken to the police station along with several other Forza Nuova (FN) figures, ahead of a planned sit-in protest in the centre of Rome today.

The news of the "arrests" was announced by the FN secretary Roberto Fiore, reports newspaper La Repubblica, however the dynamic remains unclear.

A well-known figure in Rome's far-right circles, Castellino has been prominent in organising demonstrations against the Green Pass certificate which shows that people have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from covid-19.

He made the news recently by threatening that protesters would "block departing trains" in stations across the country on 1 September, the first day that the Green Pass was required to board Intercity and high-speed trains, as well as domestic flights, long-distance buses and inter-regional ferries.

The threat led to a heavy police presence at key stations around Italy and in the end the protests were a flop, with an extremely poor turn-out.

Castellino also made headlines recently after being photographed attending a football match in Rome's Stadio Olimpico, an event which requires a Green Pass.

The FN leader admitted he was in the stadium, telling reporters he gained access by undergoing a covid test without actually downloading the Green Pass certificate.

Details about the Green Pass can be found - in Italian - on the Certificazione Verde website while for official information about the covid-19 situation in Italy - in English - see the health ministry website.