The Hungarian video journalist who was caught on camera tripping up and kicking migrants at a refugee shelter has written a letter of apology.
Petra Laszlo was fired by her news organisation, N1TV, after the footage emerged of her tripping up a man carrying a child while filming her report in Roszke.
Laszlo wrote her apology in a letter to Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet. She wrote:
“I sincerely regret what happened. Only now have I been able to gather myself together enough to write about what happened. In fact I am in shock from what I have done and what was done to me.
“I was shooting with the camera when hundreds of migrants broke out, came through the police cordon, one of them rushed at me and I got scared. I was afraid when I saw the crowd coming towards me, and then something snapped in me.
“With the camera in my hand, I didn’t see who was coming towards me, I just thought that I was being attacked and that I had to protect myself. It’s hard to make good decisions at a time when people are in a panic and hundreds of people are rushing at you. I failed at that moment to make the right decision.
I’m very sorry about what happened and as a mother I especially regret that due to an unfortunate coincidence there happened to be a child crossing my way. I did not realize it at that time.
I was in a panic; when I watched the footage, I just could not recognize myself, like it had not been me.
“I sincerely regret what happened and I take responsibility for it. I’m not a heartless, racist, child-kicking cameraman.
“I do not deserve either the political witch-hunt against me or the nasty messages – and even death threats – I have since received. I’m just a woman, since then, an unemployed mother of a small child, who made a bad decision in a chaotic situation. I am truly sorry.”