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Italian activist Ilaria Salis to be released following her election as an MEP

Demonstrators hold up a banner at left with writing reading in Italian "Lets free Ilaria Salis", in front of the Pantheon monument, in Rome, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024
Demonstrators hold up a banner at left with writing reading in Italian "Lets free Ilaria Salis", in front of the Pantheon monument, in Rome, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024 Copyright / Roberto Monaldo/LaPresse
Copyright / Roberto Monaldo/LaPresse
By Euronews with AP
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The Italian activist and newly elected MEP, Ilaria Salis, was accused of assaulting far-right protesters, facing a potential 20-year sentence. She will be freed under MEP immunity.

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Italian activist Ilaria Salis is set to be released from detention in Hungary following her election as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP).

The 40-year-old teacher spent 15 months in prison after being accused of assaulting far-right demonstrators in Hungary. Salis, maintaining her innocence, was faced with the possibility of a 20-year prison sentence.

The case made headlines when she appeared in court handcuffed and chained. Following public outcry, Rome summoned the Hungarian ambassador and eventually secured her transfer to house arrest.

Salis has been elected with the Green and Left Alliance party and will be released as a result of her MEP immunity. She was arrested in Budapest last year, and suspected of involvement in alleged assaults during Hungary’s Day of Honor commemoration.

The event, held annually on February 11, sees far-right activists mark the failed attempt by Nazi and allied Hungarian soldiers to break out of Budapest during the Red Army’s siege in 1945.

Salis is accused of attempted murder for allegedly being part of a group of anti-fascists that attacked people they believed were associated with the far-right event.

Her appearances in court, chained with her hands and ankles cuffed, sparked outrage in Italy, although Budapest claimed it was standard procedure.

The alleged victims did not report the incident to the police.

The Hungarian government has defended its treatment of Salis despite the protests and official objections from the Italian government.

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