Petra László, the Hungarian camerawoman who earned worldwide condemnation for deliberately tripping Syrian refugees, has spoken in public to explain her side of the story. László was filmed by another cameraman tripping a young girl and a man who was carrying a child.
“I was filming with a camera, a few hundred migrants broke the cordon and one ran into me. I got scared,” László told Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet as translated by the Express UK. László added that the refugees “were flowing to my direction and then something just broke inside of me. With the camera in my hand I didn’t see who is actually running towards me. I just felt I have to defend myself.”
László went on, saying that it was hard for her to think straight because she was panicking at the site of hundreds of people storming from everywhere. She admitted that she was not able to make a good decision at that moment. She apologized, stressing that she herself was shocked when she saw the video.
“I am deeply sorry, and as a mum I even more saddened by what I’ve done and that destiny put a child in my way that moment,” she said. “I panicked and as I re-watched the footages, I didn’t even recognize myself in those moments. I am deeply sorry for what I’ve done and I am taking responsibility for it,” Laszlo further said.
She now appeals for people who are condemning her, specially to those who were sending her death threats. “I am not a heartless cameraman, who is kicking children on the ground. I don’t deserve the political witch hunt against me and the threats, sometimes even death threats I got.”
Meanwhile, a related report from The Guardian said Hungarian opposition parties are now investigating whether a criminal complaint may be filed against the camerawoman. The officials are considering charging her of “violence against a member of the community; if found guilty, László may serve up to five years in prison.
“In the course of the investigation, the authorities will also examine if more serious crimes … can be established,” Sandor Toro, the deputy chief prosecutor of Csongrád county, was quoted as saying by The Guardian.