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Fired camerawoman apologizes for attacking refugees

In a letter addressed to government-friendly news portal mno.hu (Magyar Nemzet) the former camerawoman of right-wing N1TV, Petra László, apologizes for attacking refugees on Tuesday at a reception center in Röszke, near the southern Hungarian border, mno.hu reported last night.

A screen capture of the video showing Petra László kicking a girl.

“I’m a truly sorry for what happened,” László writes of the incident in which she was caught on video in one instance tripping a running man carrying a child, and in another kicking a young girl as she broke through a police barricade. Both incidents involved refugees fleeing the holding center at Röszke on Tuesday afternoon, where they had been forced to stay in difficult conditions because officials did not have the capacity to transport people from the center to a refugee camp.

László writes on mno.hu that she is in shock from what she has done and what people have done to her. She was fired immediately from her job at N1TV, which wrote in a public statement that they consider her behavior “unacceptable”, after a video of the incident was posted on Twitter by a reporter from German TV station RTL.

In her defense, László says: “I was shooting with my camera when several hundred refugees broke through the police cordon and one of them came at me and I was frightened. I was afraid as they flooded towards me and something in me snapped.”

She admits that it’s difficult to make good decisions in such stressful situations and she regrets that as a mother she could do something like this to another child. She goes on to say in the letter that she is “not a heartless, child kicking racist” and that she chose not respond at the time to what she called a “political witch hunt” and multiple “death threats”. She admits that she is just a woman, a “jobless mother with children who made a poor decision in a panic situation”.

Yesterday, Hungarian police launched a criminal investigation against László for breach of the peace and they are currently investigating as to whether she may be charged with a more serious crime, news portal 444.hu reported yesterday.

A video of László kicking and tripping fleeing refugees can be seen here.