Pope phones Pannella

Radical Party leader protesting prison overcrowding in Italy

(ANSA) - Rome, April 25 - Pope Francis on Friday phoned Italian politician Marco Pannella, after which the leader of the Radical party ended his hunger and thirst strike against Italian prison conditions, sources inside the Radical party said. Following surgery to repair his abdominal aorta, the veteran politician vowed Thursday to continue his protest against jail overcrowding.
    The pope was reportedly calling Friday to ask about his health. Pannella has repeatedly endangered his health throughout the years with several hunger and thirst strikes to demand action on issues including civil rights and freedom of scientific research.
    He was at the forefront of battles to legalise divorce and abortion in Italy in the 1970s.
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