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Hungarian Prosecutor charges camerawoman who kicked asylum-seekers with rioting

8.9.2016 14:42
Hungary was shaken in September 2015 by a brief video taken at its border with Serbia showing a camerawoman for Hungary's N1TV station kicking young refugee boys and girls and tripping a refugee carrying a child as they made their way through a Hungarian Police cordon. (PHOTO:  YouTube.com)
Hungary was shaken in September 2015 by a brief video taken at its border with Serbia showing a camerawoman for Hungary's N1TV station kicking young refugee boys and girls and tripping a refugee carrying a child as they made their way through a Hungarian Police cordon. (PHOTO: YouTube.com)

Yesterday in Budapest the Hungarian camerawoman who allegedly tripped one refugee carrying a child and kicked others a year ago at the border between Hungary and Serbia was charged with rioting by a local prosecutor. Petra László, who lost her job over the incident, has both apologized for assaulting the asylum-seekers and repeatedly attempted to defend what she did.

She was working for the ultra-right television station N1TV at the time, which is close to the ultra-nationalist Jobbik party. Video footage capturing her attack made the rounds on social networking sites and caused a scandal both abroad and at home in Hungary.

One month after the incident, the camerawoman told Russian journalists that since the incident at the border her life had collapsed and she was considering emigrating to Russia. Prosecutor Zsolt Kopasz said in his statement yesterday that László actually did assault the running refugees.

However, he does not believe that she actually made contact with the man holding the child, and he also does not believe her behavior can be assessed as racially motivated. The man, later identified as Syrian football trainer Usama Abdul Mohsen, moved to Spain and has been employed by a sports school there.

Almost 400 000 immigrants made it across the Hungarian border and into Europe last year. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán reacted to the situation by building fences on the country's borders with Croatia and Syria. 

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Hungary, Napadení, Novinářská etika, refugee, Trial



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