Hungary Indicts Camerawoman Accused Of Kicking Migrants

September 7, 2016

Hungarian prosecutors have indicted the notorious camerawoman who was filmed sticking out her leg to trip a migrant as he fled from police in September 2015.

Petra Laszlo, who later said she regrets her actions, became emblematic of anti-migrant sentiment in Hungary. She was caught on video kicking at people as hundreds of migrants broke through a police line and ran through an open field near Hungary’s border with Serbia.

Prosecutors have now charged her with breaching the peace. “The accused, while she continued filming the scene, kicked a young man in the shin with a swift movement of her right foot, and immediately after that, she also kicked a minor girl at knee high with her right leg,” Chief Prosecutor Zsolt Kopasz stated.

“The violent actions of the accused did not inflict injury, however her behavior was capable of provoking indignation and outcry in the members of the public present at the scenes,” he added, and said there was no evidence that the actions were “motivated by ethnic considerations or by the migrant status of the victims.”

Most famously, Laszlo stuck her leg out as a man carrying a young child ran by, and he then tumbled to the ground. You can see that moment in the video here:

According to the prosecutor, Laszlo intended to trip the man but her leg didn’t actually connect. The footage caused an outpouring of outrage against Laszlo. Hungary’s N1TV network quickly fired her, saying she “behaved unacceptably,” as we reported.

The Associated Press adds that “Laszlo later told Russian newspaper Izvestia that her life was ‘ruined’ by the incidents which took place Sept. 8, 2015, and she was considering moving to Russia.”

The migrant man with the small child was later identified as Osama Abdul Mohsen. The story caught the attention of Miguel Ángel Galán, who runs a soccer coaching school in Spain.

“I found out the refugee was a soccer coach back home in Syria. And that’s the moment when I realized I might be able to help,” Galán told reporter Lauren Frayer.

As Frayer reported for NPR, “Within days, Abdul Mohsen arrived in Madrid with two of his sons, ages 17 and 8 — and a new job at Cenafe Academy, which sponsored his work visa.” She adds: “The Spanish government has granted them asylum.”

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