CNN 旭川時事英語研究会

Hungarian camerawoman apologizes for kicking migrants



By Faith Karimi, CNN
Updated 1430 GMT (2130 HKT) September 11, 2015


(CNN)A Hungarian camerawoman has apologized for kicking desperate migrants as they fled, saying her actions had nothing to do with racism.

In a video released this week, Petra Laszlo was documenting the wave of migrants, many from the Middle East, sprinting from a holding camp in Hungary when she saw a man running with a child in his arms.

She tripped him, sending them tumbling to the ground. Moments later, the same camerawoman kicked other migrants, including a young girl, as they ran.

A backlash ensued after video of her attacks surfaced, prompting her employer — the Hungarian nationalist N1TV station — to fire her.

Now the videographer says it was all a misunderstanding, one for which she’s sorry.

The rush of migrants burst through a police cordon, which was scary, she wrote in a letter to the daily Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet.

The letter describes how the ensuing panic scared her and made her think she would be attacked.

“I am very sorry for the incident, and as a mother I am especially sorry for the fact that fate pushed a child in my way. I did not see that at that moment. I started to panic and as I re-watch the film, it seems as it was not even me,” her letter states.

Laszlo is being investigated on suspicion of committing a public nuisance offense, a spokesman for the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Szeged told CNN. Prosecutors are also considering whether to investigate her on more serious offenses, the spokesman said.

Laszlo was one of the videographers filming the flood of migrants trying to get through Hungary on the way to Austria and Germany. The migrants include refugees trying to escape the carnage brought on by terrorists and war in their homelands.

After crossing from Serbia into Hungary with only the belongings they could carry, the migrants were stuck for days at a holding camp in southern Hungary. Many complained about uncomfortable or inhumane conditions in the camp.

After breaking through the holding camp’s police line Tuesday, they scrambled across a field, walked and hiked about 4 miles — many dropping their possessions on the ground.

Hungary, a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention aimed at protecting refugees, has come under criticism for its handling of migrants and for installing a razor-wire fence to stop the flow.

Hungary has said it is just trying to enforce European Union laws on restricting migrants without proper documentation.

CNN’s Holly Yan contributed to this report.

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