Camerawoman acquitted in Hungary of kicking refugees

Posted by On 5:07 PM

Camerawoman acquitted in Hungary of kicking refugees

By Siobhan O’Grady | Washington Post

In 2015, as a group of asylum seekers fled a camp on the Hungarian-Serbian border, a Hungarian camerawoman was filmed sticking out her foot in what appeared to be an attempt to deliberately trip them.

The woman was holding a camera in the middle of a crowd of police officers and migrants, apparently on assignment for her news outlet. But a fellow journalist caught her on camera kicking a young girl who was trying to flee amid the crowd. In another shot, as a father holding a bag in one arm and his young son in the other ran past her, she stuck her foot out, causing them to trip and fall to the ground.

Footage of the incident, which took place as a large number of asylum seekers were seeking safe haven in Europe, went viral. The woman was identified as Petra Laszlo, a Hungarian camerawoman; her news outlet, the right-wing N1TV channel, fired her from her position. She was later sentenced to three years probation in a Hungarian court for disorderly conduct.

As The Washington Post reported at the time, N1TV released a statement saying that a “colleague behaved unacceptably at the Roeszke reception center. The cameraman’s employment was terminated with immediate effect.”

But Hungary’s top court acquitted Laszlo on Tuesday, ruling that while her behavior was “morally incorrect and illicit,” it did not amount to criminal activity.

The father and son who were tripped by Laszlo were identified as Syrian refugees. The father, Osama Abdul Mohsen, told Spanish newspaper El Mundo at the time that “the journalist’s kick was scary and hard.”

Mohsen and his son eventually reached Spain, where they were granted asylum â€" and a visit with the Real Madrid soccer team, thanks to the attention Laszlo’s behavior had garnered. “In Syria we dreamed of seeing a Real Madrid mat ch, and now that’s going to come true,” he said in a statement the club released in 2015 after inviting him to a game. “I’m really happy.”

Source: Google News Hungary | Netizen 24 Hungary

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