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The Italian activist is released from house arrest, she gained immunity after being elected as a member of the European Parliament

The Italian activist is released from house arrest, she gained immunity after

An Italian activist has been released from house arrest in Budapest after being elected to the European Parliament, after gaining immunity from charges, writes The Guardian. 

The case of Ilaria Salis, 39, a teacher from Monza, near Milan, sparked diplomatic protests and outrage in Italy after she was brought to court in Hungary in chains, with her hands shackled and her feet bound together.

She was arrested in Budapest in February last year after a counter-demonstration against a neo-Nazi rally. Salis was charged with three counts of attempted assault and accused of being part of a far-left organization. She denied the charges, which carried a sentence of up to 11 years in prison.

In a letter to her lawyer, she detailed the conditions she had faced since her arrest: cells infested with rats and insects, not being allowed to bathe for days, and a lack of urgent medical care. In May she was placed under house arrest in Budapest.

Salis won her seat as a candidate with the Alliance of Greens and Left, which won about 6.8% of the Italian vote on Sunday.

After her election as a member of the European Parliament, her lawyers sought her release based on the immunity enjoyed by EU lawmakers. The court replied that it was waiting for the official communication of its choice to the parliament.

On Monday, Salis called her lawyers in Italy to inform them that she had received the Hungarian judge's decision to release her from house arrest.

"At last! We are delighted by the news coming from Budapest, MEP Ilaria Salis can now return to Italy and fulfill her new role as shown by hundreds of thousands of voters," said Angelo Bonelli and Nicola Fratoianni, from the Green Alliance party and Left of Italy, in a joint statement.

Salis is expected to return to Italy on Monday, her 40th birthday.


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