Italy activist torches self over corruption

Italian anti-racketeering activist Frediano Manzi set himself on fire in Milan on February 5, 2013, to protest illegal loans. (File photo)

The head of an anti-corruption organization in Italy has set himself on fire in a show of protest against illegal loans.

Frediano Manzi torched himself in front of the Milan headquarters of Italian media company RAI on Tuesday night.

Manzi had written a letter to the company earlier, explaining why he was setting himself on fire.

I am “doing it for the victims of usury that no one helps,” Manzi wrote in his letter.

He was found by a passing tram driver who quickly put out the flames.

The activist is in a serious but non-life threatening condition after suffering third-degree burns all over his body.

Many Italians can no longer obtain bank loans due to the economic crisis, causing them to turn to unlawful entities who offer loans in return for exorbitant interest rates.