Earlier this week Petra Laszlo, a camerawoman for Hungarian news station N1TV, was filmed kicking and tripping refugees at the Hungarian-Serbian border. The refugees, largely from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, had broken through a police border, and were attempting to move through Hungary with the hopes of reaching Germany. As the refugees ran past Laszlo, she kicked a running child and later tripped a man carrying a small child. After the video of her kicking and tripping went viral, N1TV fired Laszlo.
Yet, in a letter published yesterday in Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet (via The Hollywood Reporter), Laszlo said she “honestly” regretted her actions. She added:
“As I watch the footage now, it’s like I’m not watching myself. I honestly regret what I have done and take responsibility for it. I panicked. I’m not a heartless, child-kicking racist.”
Just a reminder of what Laszlo’s panic looked like:
“Laszlo, who faces criminal charges carrying a sentence of up to five years in prison if convicted, went into hiding after bosses at N1TV, which is closely linked with Hungary’s right-wing nationalist party Jobbik, said she was detained by police Thursday but later released.
Saying she had been in a ‘state of shock’ since the incident, she explained that when ‘hundreds of migrants broke through the police cordon, one of them ran into me, and I panicked.’
Hungary has been criticized by other European Union nations for failing to help the refugees. The country’s right-wing government has repeatedly made anti-Muslim statements and, despite international pressure, has refused to yield.
Screenshot via Channel 4 News/Twitter