The Camerawoman Who Got Caught Kicking Refugees Is Indicted

Photo: Marko Djurica/ Reuters.
Update: Petra Laszlo, the Hungarian camerawoman who was videotaped kicking a group of asylum seekers, has been indicted, The Associated Press reported.

Hungarian prosecutors said she would be facing charges for breaching the peace in the September 2015 incident that occurred at the Hungarian-Serbian border, according to the AP.

Laszlo, who worked for the right-wing channel N1TV, was fired last fall after footage of her kicking two children and trying to trip a man carrying a boy went viral.

Her husband, Gabor Laszlo, declined to give comment to the AP on advice of their lawyer.
This article was originally published on September 15, 2015.

A startling video of a Hungarian TV crew member kicking refugee children went viral yesterday, horrifying viewers on social media around the world. The woman — who worked for N1TV, a nationalist internet TV channel — has since been fired, according to her employer.

"An N1TV colleague today behaved in an unacceptable way at the Röszke collection point," Szabolcs Kisberk, the channel's editor-in-chief, wrote in a statement on Facebook announcing the camera operator's termination. "The camerawoman's employment contract has been terminated with immediate effect as of today; we consider the matter closed." N1TV is affiliated with Jobbik, Hungary's far-right, anti-immigrant party.

The woman, who was identified by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as Petra László, can clearly be seen tripping a man as he runs from a group of police. She then turns and kicks multiple individuals, including a small girl. The 20-second video was posted widely online Tuesday.

"It was certainly a shocking scene and quite heartbreaking to see refugees who have already been through so much already face such cruelty," Ariane Rummery, senior communications officer of the UN Refugee Agency, told Refinery29. But she was quick to point out that refugees and migrants have also been met with generosity and kindness in Hungary and other parts of Europe.

"Fortunately, we have also seen acts of great kindness from some Hungarians who volunteered to help refugees at the main railway stations and offer water on the walk to Austria…and, of course, we’ve seen huge welcomes from the citizens of Vienna and Munich greeting refugees at the train stations in recent days," she said.

Röszke is the site of a temporary camp on the Hungary-Serbia border, erected to house the flood of people fleeing the war in Syria and violence elsewhere in the region. NBC news posted video of the "overwhelming" numbers of men and women waiting in the camp on Tuesday, hoping to get buses to Austria and the rest of Europe.

The video is below. Warning: It features violence and may be upsetting to some.

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