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Hungary: Camerawoman gets three-year probation for kicking at migrants

17.1.2017 9:56
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)

A court in the town of Szeged has placed Petra László, the Hungarian camerawoman for the N1TV station who kicked migrants at the Hungarian-Serbian border in September 2015, on probation for three years. The public defender is appealing and asking that his client be released.

According to Czech news server novinky.cz, the Hungarian news server index.hu has reported that in practice the verdict means the court has not yet imposed a punishment, but placed László on three years' probation. During that time she is not permitted to commit any crimes.

If she manages to refrain from criminal behavior during those three years, the possibility of any further sentencing for this offense will automatically expire. László, who lost her job because of her actions, has apologized for assaulting the asylum-seekers, although she has also repeatedly attempted to defend her deeds.

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 was shared through online social networks and caused a scandal abroad and in Hungary.

One month after the event, the camerawoman told Russian journalists that her life had collapsed after the border incident and that she was considering emigrating to Russia. Prosecutor Zsolt Kopasz issued a statement confirming that László did actually assault the refugees as they were running.

Kopasz said he did not believe the camerawoman ever actually made contact with the refugee man holding a child who is shown stumbling in the video footage, and it is also his opinoin that her behavior cannot be assessed as racially motivated. The man in question was later identified as Syrian football trainer Usáma Abdul Mohsen, who has emigrated to Spain and been employed by a sports school there.

bau, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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assault, Hungary, Immigration, refugee, Trial



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