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Italian activist on trial in Hungary released from house arrest

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Italian activist on trial in Hungary released from house arrest
This photo taken on June 14, 2024 shows the building in downtown Budapest where Italian activist Ilaria Salis is said to reside after Hungarian authorities released her from house arrest after she was elected to the European Parliament. (Photo by Ferenc ISZA / AFP)

An Italian activist on trial in Hungary for allegedly attacking neo-Nazis has been released from house arrest in Budapest after being elected to the European Parliament, her lawyer told AFP on Friday.

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Anti-fascist activist Ilaria Salis, 39, was a candidate for Italy's small Greens and Left Alliance (AVS) in the European Parliament elections, which won 6.7 percent of the vote in Italy at the weekend.

"Authorities took off Salis's ankle bracelet and she is free to move as she likes," lawyer Gyorgy Magyar told AFP.

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.

Earlier this week, her defence team said her election to the European Union's assembly meant she could seek legal immunity from prosecution.

"Her case in Hungary is now completely suspended due to her parliamentary immunity, which has been confirmed by Hungarian authorities," Magyar said on Friday.

READ ALSO: Italian on trial in Hungary hopes for immunity after election as EU MP

Salis's father told AFP he and his daughter planned to leave Budapest for Italy later in the day.

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 organisation.

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Salis denies the charges against her -- which could see her jailed for up to 11 years -- and says she is being persecuted for her political beliefs.

Her trial began last month.

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