ROME (Reuters) – An Italian woman who is being held in a Budapest prison is getting better treatment after a protest last week to the Hungarian authorities, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani told parliament on Thursday.
Images of Ilaria Salis, 39, being led into court with her feet and hands bound and a chain round her waist, drew widespread condemnation in Italy, and the Hungarian charge d’affaires was summoned to the foreign ministry in Rome.
Tajani said the Italian ambassador had met Salis on Wednesday and she had told him of improved hygiene and sanitary conditions and a friendlier approach by prison staff.
Salis can also “speak freely with her family and the embassy” and now has access to the videos supporting the prosecution case against her.
She is however yet to receive the Italian translation of her trial documents. “The embassy will come back to raise this issue,” Tajani added.
Salis, an elementary school teacher from near Milan, is accused of taking part in a serious assault on two far-right militants by a group of anti-fascist activists in Budapest last February. She has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors are seeking an 11-year sentence for Salis, who is next due in court on May 24.
The case is politically difficult for Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, as she and deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini have close ties with nationalist Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
The family of Salis and opposition parties have accused the government of not having paid enough attention to the case and are pressing for her to be released to house arrest.
(Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi; Editing by Keith Weir)
Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters.