Ilaria Salis, 39, says she is being persecuted for her beliefs in case that has led to tensions between two countries. An Italian anti-fascist activist has gone on trial in Hungary for allegedly attacking neo-Nazis, in a case that has sparked tensions between the two EU allies. Ilaria Salis, 39, arrived at the Budapest court accompanied by her father, with Italy’s ambassador and a throng of Italian journalists also in attendance. She left to applause after the court heard testimony from one of the victims and two witnesses. None of the three could personally identify Salis, as their attackers were masked. The case has been front-page news in Italy after Salis appeared in court in January handcuffed and chained. The teacher, from Monza, near Milan, was arrested in Budapest in February 2023 following a counter-demonstration against a neo-Nazi rally. Her case has sparked tensions between Rome and Budapest despite the cordial relations between their far-right prime ministers, Italy’s Giorgia Meloni and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán. Rome has made several official complaints on Salis’s behalf. Prosecutors allege that Salis travelled to Budapest specifically to carry out attacks against “unsuspecting victims identified as, or perceived as, far-right sympathisers” to deter “representatives of the far-right movement”. She was charged with three counts of attempted assault and accused of being part of an extreme leftwing criminal organisation in the wake of a counter-demonstration against an annual neo-Nazi rally. Salis denies the charges – which could see her jailed for up to 11 years – and says she is being persecuted for her political beliefs.

via guardian: Italian anti-fascist goes on trial in Hungary accused of attacking neo-Nazis