Italian Activist Elected to EU Parliament While Under House Arrest in Hungary

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jun.10 - 2024 2:54 PM CET

Photo: Euronews on YouTube
Photo: Euronews on YouTube
Italian activist Ilaria Salis, who is under house arrest in Hungary, has been elected to the European Parliament.

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Ilaria Salis, an anti-fascist activist from Italy, recently won a seat in the European Parliament representing Italy's Green and Left Alliance (AVS).

Despite her election, she remains under house arrest in Hungary, accused of participating in violent attacks against neo-Nazi supporters.

Parliamentary Immunity

According to Il Messaggero, once Salis officially takes her seat, she will benefit from parliamentary immunity, which protects Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from prosecution, even for crimes committed before their election.

Eugenio Losko, Salis' lawyer, plans to appeal to Hungarian judges for her release as soon as she is confirmed as an MEP.

"The Hungarian judge has to make a decision and he cannot but recognize her immunity. If he doesn't, we will take the necessary steps in the EU court," Losko told Il Messaggero.

Background and Charges

Salis was transferred from prison to house arrest in Budapest while awaiting trial.

She faces charges of attempted murder, accused of being part of an anti-fascist group that attacked far-right supporters during the "Day of Honor" event.

Hungarian prosecutors are seeking an 11-year sentence, but Salis' father claims she could face up to 24 years in prison.

The treatment of Salis, including her appearance in court with shackles on her hands and ankles, has caused outrage in Italy and led to official protests from the Italian government.

The Hungarian government, however, has defended its actions, stating that such measures are standard procedure for its prisoners.

The election of Salis to the European Parliament brings her case into the international spotlight.

The forthcoming decision by Hungarian judges regarding her immunity status could set a precedent. If her immunity is not recognized, further legal action at the EU level is anticipated.

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