Hungarian camerawoman Petra Laszlo has had her employment with internet TV station N1TV terminated after footage of her intentionally tripping and kicking asylum seekers as they ran from a holding camp in southern Hungary surfaced on the internet. The sickening footage shows Laszlo intentionally raising her leg to trip a fleeing man carrying a young boy, causing him to fall to the ground on top of the child. In a second video, she kicks at more refugees, appearing to strike several including a young girl.
N1TV immediately dismissed Laszlo after the footage appeared online, stating: “An N1TV colleague today behaved in an unnacceptable way at the Roszke collection point. The camerawoman’s employment contract has been terminated with immediate effect as of today, we consider the matter closed.” Laszlo is facing potential criminal charges for the assaults and has not, at the time of writing, offered any explanation for her actions.
The incident took place as hundreds of asylum seekers breached the police collection border at Hungary’s border with Serbia, which is used to hold people before they are transported to a nearby registration camp. Over 165,000 asylum seekers have entered Hungary this year, and while most attempt to continue on to other nations, Hungary has constructed a razor wire fence along the entirety of it’s border with Serbia, drawing the ire of the international community. Many asylum seekers have complained about the poor conditions in which they were kept in Hungary’s holding camps. Hungary is one of the 142 signitories of the 1951 Refugee Convention which defines a refugee as “A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it”. Signitories to the convention are obliged to protect refugees within their borders but many countries arguably don’t follow through on that.
UPDATE: Camerawoman Petra Laszlo has released a statement explaining her actions. Claiming she felt threatened by the large amount of refugees running towards her, Laszlo said: “I do not deserve the political witch hunts against me, nor the smears or the death threats. I’m just a woman, and now an unemployed mother of small children who made a bad decision in a situation of panic. I am truly sorry.”