Ilaria Salis, a 39-year-old Milan primary school teacher and antifascist militant, is currently on trial in Budapest for attacking two Hungarian neo-Nazis a year ago. On Monday, she was reportedly dragged in chains into a Budapest court.
Foreign Minister and Deputy Premier Antonio Tajani criticised the treatment, stating that it violates EU rules and deviates from Italy’s legal culture.
“This time it seems to me that we have gone too far,” remarked Tajani during an interview on Radio Anch’io.
He said the harsh treatment is “a violation of EU norms” and is “not in line with our legal culture.” Tajani suggested that Salis’ lawyers should request house arrest for her in Italy.
Justice Minister Carlo Nordio has reportedly met with Salis’s father, Roberto, and is actively monitoring the case. Nordio had mentioned earlier that Italy is doing “everything it can to mitigate the harsh conditions in which she is being held.”
What crime is Salis accused of?
Ilaria Salis, born in Monza, stands accused of participating in an assault against two neo-Nazis a year ago. She maintains her innocence in the trial. The prosecution requested 11 years in jail if she is found guilty.
The trial has been adjourned until May 24. A German co-defendant, who pleaded guilty, received a three-year sentence on Monday.
Italy’s centrist opposition party, Italia Viva (IV), has called on Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to appeal to her friend, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, regarding Salis’s case.
Carmen Giorgio, a 43-year-old activist and Salis’s former cellmate, raised concerns about the conditions Salis is facing. Giorgio told la Repubblica daily on Sunday that Salis is “scared of staying there forever.” She also described various issues in custody, including rats, pigeons, lice, chains, maltreatment, and beatings.
Embassy knows about the chains says father
Salis appeared in court in chains, with handcuffs on her wrists and her feet tied with leather shackles. The woman, who was wearing a light-coloured striped sweater and holding a dark bag, entered the court with a smile directed at the public. A security forces woman was dragging her by a chain.
“I believe the Italian Embassy has participated in at least four court hearings in which my daughter appeared in these conditions before the judge,” Roberto Salis told Agora on Rai3.
“We had no evidence of the treatment our daughter was undergoing until October 12, when she wrote a letter,” he continued.
“The only ones who knew and said nothing were the people at the Italian embassy in Hungary,” said Salis. He added he was due to meet with the Italian ambassador in Hungary on Tuesday morning.
“I expect some action, we have had many talks,” he continued.
“This is the first time I have had the pleasure of speaking with the ambassador.
“Evidently in these 11 months he has had much more onerous commitments than taking care of my daughter,” concluded Salis.