Italian activist jailed in Hungary to run for EU elections in June

An Italian anti-fascist activist held in Hungary for deliberately assaulting far-right militants will be a candidate for a left-wing party at European elections in June, maybe putting an end to her detention. Ilaria Salis, a 39-year-old teacher, has been in prison for more than a year in a case that led to out burst of anger in Italy in February when she was led into a court hearing with her feet and hands bound and a chain round her waist.

The Italian Green and Left Alliance declared late on Thursday she would be among their candidates at the European ballot, in agreement with her father Roberto, who is campaigning for her release. We want to defend the rights and the dignity of a European citizen in the face of the inertia of the Italian authorities,” said Angelo Bonelli, one of the leaders of the Green and Left grouping, which is running at around 4% in opinion polls.

The case is specifically politically sensitive because of the long-standing ties between Italy’s right-wing prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, and her Hungarian counterpart, Viktor Orban. Hungarian prosecutors are willing to have an 11-year jail term for Salis for her alleged role in an assault on two far-right militants by a party of anti-fascist activists in Budapest in February 2023. She requested not guilty in January.