A camerawoman working for a Hungarian TV channel was terminated after videos that show her kicking and tripping refugees escaping from the police surfaced on the internet and media.
Petra László, who worked as a camerawoman for Hungary’s N1TV, also known as Nemzeti TV, was seen in the video kicking a girl and tripping a man carrying a child amid scores of refugees fleeing from the police on the Hungary-Serbia border. Many of these refugees were from Syria.
László had been fired for “unacceptable behaviour,” the station posted in a message on its website.
In a statement, the TV station said, “An employee of N1TV today showed unacceptable behavior at the Roszke collection point. We have terminated the contract of the camerawoman, with immediate effect today.”
Szabolcs Kisberk, the chief editor at the channel, said, “I believe we have done what we had to do in this situation. We don’t understand how this could happen. It is shocking and unacceptable.”
The video footage of László was captured and posted on Twitter by Stephan Richter. He captioned it, saying, “A lot of question about my video with the camerawoman: no! I don’t know her and no: she’s not my colleague.”
Richter works as a journalist for RTL and n-tv in Germany.
A Facebook page that contains video footage and pictures of the incident involving the camerawoman kicking and tripping refugees soon gathered worldwide attention, receiving almost 16,000 likes by Wednesday morning. “You are a disgrace to your profession,” one user said.
Following the video surfacing on social media and gaining massive attention, a criminal complaint was filed against László by two Hungarian opposition parties. However, it has not been made clear as of yet whether a probe will be launched into the matter.
As reported by Yahoo News, Aniko Bakonyi of human rights group Hungarian Helsinki Committee said, “These are shocking images. You’re part of a news agency. With your hand you’re shooting and with your leg you’re hurting someone else,” said Aniko Bakonyi of human rights group Hungarian Helsinki Committee.” László was “only kicking foreigners, no-one else, including a child who was clearly an asylum-seeker. Since she’s been working as a cameraperson there, she clearly knew who she was kicking. It wasn’t by accident, there is no mistake in that.”
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According to Al Jazeera America, Hungary’s right wing government has made it difficult for migrants to enter the country and seek refuge. The influx of refugees is being seen as a potential threat to European prosperity and Christian values. This year, more than 150,000 refugees, many escaping the war in the Middle East, have entered the country.
Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, is making efforts to build a wall along the Hungary-Serbia border to block the stream of migrants coming into the country. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, proposed plans to bind EU nations to specific refugee quotas. At present, Germany is accepting more refugees than any other EU country.
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