In the night between Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 November, the police arrested Gabriele, a comrade from Milan, and took him to San Vittore prison.
Gabriele is a defendant in a judicial investigation into attacks on neo-Nazis in Budapest last February, the first arrests of which took place on 11 February 2023, leading to the imprisonment of the comrades Ilaria and Tobias. The attacks against the neo-Nazis took place during the weekend when the ‘Day of Honour’ falls, an important date for extreme right-wing circles in Hungary and throughout Europe, commemorating the massacre of a Nazi battalion by the Red Army in February 1945. These days hundreds of comrades gather in Budapest for a large commemorative march and to participate in various events organised for the occasion. As of today, the comrades arrested in February have been notified of the closure of the investigation and the start date of the trial, 29 January.
On 31 October, several newspapers in Germany and Hungary had published articles about the issuing by Hungary of a European arrest warrant against 14 people, investigated in the investigation, including ten Germans, two Italians, one Syrian and one Albanian.
To date, in addition to the arrests that have already taken place, we only know about Gabriele.
At the moment, Gabriele is under house arrest in Milan, with all restrictions, waiting for his extradition to Hungary to be discussed. The hearing in which the verdict for or against extradition will be given will take place in early December.
After this arrest, we want to underline the importance of an international solidarity mobilisation to give a strong response and emphasise the importance of anti-fascist practices everywhere, of leaving no room for extreme right-wing organisations, and that no day such as the Day of Honour goes unnoticed and occurs without anti-fascists mobilising.
We call on everyone to join us in saying no to the extradition of Gabriele, a measure that aims to isolate comrades from their loved ones and families, to hinder solidarity demonstrations, and to make defence in court more difficult. In Hungary we face a 98 per cent conviction rate at trial, and a judicial system that provides very heavy penalties for crimes that in Italy have much milder punishments. Furthermore, we have seen in recent months how difficult and burdensome communication between countries is, due to the constant need for translations, and in general to all the limitations given by not being present in the country where the defendants are and where the investigation is taking place. This is clearly what the repression wants: to make it difficult for us to carry out our solidarity practices and to isolate the defendants with the aim of breaking the hope and determination in them. We know that our comrades will not break easily. And we do not intend to take any step backwards in expressing our warmth and presence to them.
A further element that we would like to bring to light is the terrible and inhuman conditions of detention in the Budapest prison. Our comrade Ilaria, who has been held in the Budapest prison since February, is kept in a medium-security regime that is in fact a semi-solitary confinement: the time spent in the cell is 23 hours out of 24, with the blindo completely closed; even during the so-called hour of air, prisoners are kept underground, without direct sunlight. All translations of prisoners from the prison to court or police station etc. take place with a leather belt to which handcuffs are tied and their ankles chained together.
Every month, a disinfestation for bedbugs is carried out without giving the inmates sufficient time outside the cell so that they do not become intoxicated with the fumes of toxic substances. These are just some of the violence inmates are subjected to during their imprisonment.
In addition, after her arrest, Ilaria was not allowed to have interviews, receive packages or correspondence with any friends or family members for eight months.
Should the Italian justice system issue the extradition sentence for Gabriele, he will most likely find himself in similar if not worse conditions.
On Tuesday evening, a large group of people went under the walls of the Milan prison to greet him and all the inmates. We want to continue to make him feel our warmth and solidarity in these days.
We are launching a garrison for Sunday, 26 November, at 4 p.m., in Piazzale Aquileia, to express our anger and determination, for Gabriele, Ilaria, Tobias and for all the detained and wanted comrades and comrades and all imprisoned people in general.
For info write to firstname.lastname@example.org
The legal costs are very high, and we need everyone’s help to face them.
Donations for both Ilaria and Gabriele can be made to the account co-owned by:
Alice Zaffaroni and Martina Franchi