Italian activist on trial in Hungary returns home after EU win

Anti-fascist activist Ilaria Salis, 39, was released on Friday.

16 Jun 2024 01:37pm
Italian teacher and activist Ilaria Salis, accused of attacking alleged neo-Nazis in Hungary, speaks at a court in Budapest on May 24, 2024 prior to the start of her trial for attacking neo-Nazis. (Photo by Attila KISBENEDEK / AFP)
Italian teacher and activist Ilaria Salis, accused of attacking alleged neo-Nazis in Hungary, speaks at a court in Budapest on May 24, 2024 prior to the start of her trial for attacking neo-Nazis. (Photo by Attila KISBENEDEK / AFP)
A
A
A

ROME, Italy - An Italian activist on trial in Hungary for allegedly attacking neo-Nazis returned home on Saturday after gaining immunity through election to the European Parliament, Italian media said.

Anti-fascist activist Ilaria Salis, 39, was released on Friday.

She was elected to the EU Parliament after Italy's small Greens and Left Alliance (AVS) won 6.7 percent of the Italian vote last weekend.

Her election meant that she could apply for immunity -- as provided for in the EU treaties.

Salis, a teacher from Monza, near Milan, was arrested in Budapest in February 2023 after a counter-demonstration against a neo-Nazi rally.

After being imprisoned for more than a year, Salis was placed under house arrest last month following an appeals court decision.

Her case became front-page news in Italy earlier this year when images emerged of her in a Budapest court with her hands handcuffed and chained, and her feet shackled.

She has been charged in Hungary with three counts of attempted assault and accused of being part of an extreme left-wing criminal organisation.

Prosecutors allege Salis travelled to Budapest specifically to carry out attacks against "unsuspecting victims identified as, or perceived as, far-right sympathisers".

Salis denies the charges against her and says she is being persecuted for her political beliefs. - AFP