From house arrest to the European Parliament: The Italian teacher Ilaria Salis, who is currently on trial in Hungary for an attack on right-wing extremists, was elected as a member of parliament in her home country’s European elections. As a candidate of the left-green alliance AVS, the 39-year-old received so many so-called preferential votes that she is guaranteed a mandate. The alliance also doubled its result compared to the 2019 European elections to 6.7 percent.

Saris is one of the six future MEPs from the alliance, said AVS head Nicola Fratoianni. “Now we want Ilaria to be here in Italy – free, with immunity and ready to fulfil her mandate.”

AVS and Salis’ family called for her immediate release on Monday. The left-wing activist will enjoy immunity as an MEP, her lawyer Eugenio Losco told the Roman daily newspaper “Il Messaggero”. As soon as Salis’ status as an MEP is confirmed, he will submit an application for release. This step could take place before the inaugural session of the new EU Parliament on July 16.

The case has also been putting a strain on relations between the EU partners Hungary and Italy for some time. In February last year, Saris, together with other counter-demonstrators, is said to have attacked participants in an SS memorial event with batons, hammers and lead gloves.

According to the public prosecutor’s office, six people were seriously injured. Two German left-wing activists were also said to have been involved, WELT reported. According to the indictment, the man and woman from Germany belong to the group of the German left-wing extremist Lina E., who was sentenced to five years and three months in prison by a court in Dresden in May 2023 for several attacks on right-wing extremists.

When the trial began in January, Salis was led into court in handcuffs and leg irons, which caused outrage in her home country. She faces up to eleven years in prison. After paying bail, she is no longer in prison, but is under house arrest. Every year around February 11, a large number of Hungarian and foreign right-wing extremists gather in Budapest to commemorate a military action by the German Waffen-SS at the end of the Second World War.