Hungarian camerawoman says she regrets kicking migrants, was in panic

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Hungarian Camera Woman Claims Kick Was In Self Defense


A Hungarian camerawoman who kicked and tripped migrants fleeing from police this week has said that, as a mother, she regrets her actions, which she said were carried out in panic.

At the same time, Hungarian police said they had interviewed Petra Laszlo as a suspect late on Thursday after prosecutors ordered an investigation for disorderly conduct.

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The camerawoman was fired on Tuesday from the right-wing news station N1TV, also known as Nemzeti TV, after videos of her actions spread in the media and on the internet.

Separate videos show her kicking a girl and tripping up a man carrying a child as hundreds of migrants, many of them Syrian refugees, break away from police on Hungary's southern border with Serbia.

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Camerawoman trips refugees in Hungary
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Hungarian camerawoman says she regrets kicking migrants, was in panic
In this image taken from TV a Hungarian camerawoman, center left in blue, kicks out at a young migrant who had just crossed the border from Serbia near Roszke Hungary Tuesday Sept. 8, 2015. The camerawoman has been fired after she was caught on video kicking and tripping migrants entering Hungary across the border with Serbia. The N1TV Internet channel said their employee, widely identified in Hungarian media as Petra Laszlo, has been dismissed because she "behaved unacceptably" at a makeshift gathering point where police take migrants immediately after they enter Hungary near the village of Roszke.(Index.Hu. via AP) HUNGARY OUT
This video grab made on September 9, 2015 shows a Hungarian TV camerawoman kicking a child as she run with other migrants from a police line during disturbances at Roszke, southern Hungary. After the footage appeared, the camerawomen was fired on September 8 by N1TV, an internet-based TV station close to Hungary's far-right Jobbik party. The woman, later named as Petra Laszlo, can be seen tripping a man sprinting with a child in his arms, and kicking another running child in two separate incidents. The scenes took place as hundreds of migrants broke through a police line at a collection point close to the Serbian border where thousands have been crossing over each day for the past month. AFP PHOTO / INDEX.HU (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Camerawoman for TV channel associated with Hungary's far-right Jobbik party was filmed tripping a man carry... https://t.co/WB7EiMaQSs
Police ordered to investigate Hungarian journalist caught on video tripping, kicking migrants http://t.co/9JluF2gErd http://t.co/XegYdP9DLN
Camerawoman was fired after kicking and tripping migrants in Hungary http://t.co/J6X3tj4rmT http://t.co/fPPxf51Z0f
Camerawoman caught kicking fleeing migrants in Hungary sparks international outrage. @RichardEngel reports now http://t.co/fgfInUALTF
getting a lot of attention in hungary. video appears to show camerawoman kicking refugees today. https://t.co/HoloeRXAM2
This video grab made on September 9, 2015 shows a Hungarian TV camerawoman kicking a child as she run with other migrants from a police line during disturbances at Roszke, southern Hungary. After the footage appeared, the camerawomen was fired on September 8 by N1TV, an internet-based TV station close to Hungary's far-right Jobbik party. The woman, later named as Petra Laszlo, can be seen tripping a man sprinting with a child in his arms, and kicking another running child in two separate incidents. The scenes took place as hundreds of migrants broke through a police line at a collection point close to the Serbian border where thousands have been crossing over each day for the past month. AFP PHOTO / INDEX.HU (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
This video grab made on September 9, 2015 shows a Hungarian TV camerawoman kicking a child as she run with other migrants from a police line during disturbances at Roszke, southern Hungary. After the footage appeared, the camerawomen was fired on September 8 by N1TV, an internet-based TV station close to Hungary's far-right Jobbik party. The woman, later named as Petra Laszlo, can be seen tripping a man sprinting with a child in his arms, and kicking another running child in two separate incidents. The scenes took place as hundreds of migrants broke through a police line at a collection point close to the Serbian border where thousands have been crossing over each day for the past month. AFP PHOTO / INDEX.HU (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
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"I honestly regret what happened ... I am practically in shock from what I did, and what was done to me," Laszlo wrote in a letter posted on mno.hu, the website of the newspaper Magyar Nemzet.

She said she had panicked when hundreds of migrants started running towards her, and had wanted to protect herself.

"I am not a heartless, racist camerawoman who would kick children ... I am a woman, a mother of small children, who has since lost her job, and who made a bad decision in a panic," she added.

Hungary's right-wing government has taken a hard line on the flow of migrants across its borders en route to western Europe, portraying them as a threat to Europe's prosperity and "Christian values".

More than 170,000 migrants, many of them refugees from conflicts in the Middle East, have been recorded entering Hungary so far this year.

Police have been trying to round them up and register them in line with European Union rules, but many migrants refuse, fearing that they will then be forced to stay in Hungary rather than move on to Germany or Sweden.

(Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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