Two Catholic monks from the Rhône region in southern France have been charged with setting fire to 5G phone masts amid concerns the mobile technology could pose a health risk to humans.
The monks were arrested by gendarmes last week as they attempted to set fire to a second phone mast following a similar attack the night before.
Although the two men, aged 39 and 40 from a Capuchin monastery, did minimal harm to the masts, they were charged with "damage and attempted damage with an incendiary device."
According to local news coverage, the two men reportedly told the investigating magistrate they had wanted "to warn the population against the harmful effects of 5G."
A spokesperson for the monks told a local newspaper that the waves emitted from the phone masts were "harmful to people's health" and they "wanted to act for the well-being of humanity."
France – like many countries – has not been immune from health-related 5G mast burning and protests. Back in Britain, nonsense-spouting naysayers have included portly Brit daytime TV host Eamonn Holmes, presenter type Amanda Holden and boxer Amir Khan.
Last year the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a statement saying that "after much research performed, no adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies." But this hasn't stopped attacks.
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In June 2020, a Merseyside man was sentenced to 36 months in jail by a beak in Liverpool Crown Court after torching a Vodafone-owned phone mast. And just last month, West Yorkshire police issued an appeal for witnesses after a 5G mast was set alight in Bradford.
Emergency services were called at approximately 11.16pm on Tuesday 16 August following reports of a phone mast on fire on Trinity Road, Bradford.
The incident is being investigated as arson and inquiries are ongoing.
In a statement, Detective Inspector Suzanne Hall of Bradford District CID said: "Any deliberate ignition to these types of masts present a significant risk to the public. Thankfully no one was injured as a result of the fire, but we are taking this incident very seriously and will ensure appropriate action is taken by those responsible."
In another recent incident, a man who appeared at Newcastle Crown Court in August charged with setting fire to a 5G mast in Gateshead is due to be sentenced next month. ®