Italy’s conservative government is angry Antifa attacker is facing ‘harsh’ prison conditions in Hungary

By Dénes Albert
5 Min Read

Italy’s conservative government is complaining that an Italian citizen, Ilaria Salis, accused of participating in brutal far-left attacks in Budapest, is facing so-called harsh conditions in Hungary’s prison system.

Among the critics of the woman’s treatment, which included her being handcuffed and shackled when she appeared in court, is Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, who told the Italian parliament that the 39-year-old Salis faced “degrading and humiliating” treatment from the Hungarians.

The 39-year-old Ilaria Salis is led into Hungarian court in handcuffs and shackles.

After Salis was brought into court with handcuffs and shackles, Italian newspapers attacked Hungary, citing the indignation of the accused woman’s father, claiming that “the treatment of Ilaria Salis is a violation of EU rules and does not correspond to our legal culture.”

The Italian press has reported that a phone call between the Hungarian and Italian prime ministers took place ahead of the Brussels summit on Feb. 1. According to their sources, the conversation also touched on the case of Ilaria Salis, who is on trial for attacks that targeted seven people by a group of ultra-violent Antifa members. Their victims, who were misidentified as right-wing activists, were severely beaten with hammers and other blunt objects, leading to serious injuries and hospitalization last year in February.

However, several right-wing and conservative Italian politicians have said that it is not their place to judge the judicial process and prison conditions in another country.

Italian MEP Susanna Ceccardi said she missed the shocking photo of the handcuffed woman in the Italian press, but that few published the video of innocent Budapest passers-by being beaten to a bloody pulp by far-left attackers.

Although the Italian press is attempting to portray the Italian woman as a victim, Ilaria Saris, an elementary school teacher from near Milan, has been charged with three counts of attempted criminal damage to life, two counts of being an accomplice and one count of being an accessory. She pleaded not guilty in court on Monday.

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“Their aim was to assault selected victims by various means capable of taking their lives, in order to inflict on them the humiliation of serious, life-threatening injuries,” the Hungarian court announced in a statement.

Prosecutors are asking for an 11-year sentence for Salis, whose next court date is May 24.

“My daughter also stated during the trial that she is innocent. I think she will get out from this as innocent,” said the suspect’s father. “And my daughter is very strong… I’m sure that she will manage the situation and will cope with it.”

In response to the allegations, Hungary’s prison service allowed reporters on Wednesday to tour the cell of around 25 square meters where Salis is held. They note that she is provided proper treatment in accordance with international standards, including meals three times and access to healthcare services.

Last June, a Dresden court delivered on Wednesday the verdict in the trial of the leader of the Hammerbande, known as the Hammer Gang in English, a violent far-left Antifa group known for attacking right-wing activists as well as random innocents with hammers. The German judge sentenced Lina Engel to five years and three months in prison, while three of her associates received lesser sentences.

Four members of the Hammer Gang, which were also involved in the beatings of numerous individuals in Budapest, Hungary, as well as attacks across Germany, have been convicted in a mammoth trial before a Saxon regional court in Dresden, after 97 days of evidence, according to Hungarian news outlet Magyar Nemzet.

However, the attack in Budapest also allegedly involved the Italian Saris, as well as another Hungarian Antifa member.

There are 13 known victims of the Antifa gang in Germany, including former NPD member Enrico B. in Leipzig, who suffered fractured kneecaps and kicks to the head in 2018; right-wing activist Cederic S., who suffered severe spine fractures that nearly took his life; and Leon R., the owner of a far-right bar, who was attacked with bats along with other individuals inside the bar.

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