Hungarian camerawoman says she regrets kicking migrants, was in panic

Hungarian Camera Woman Claims Kick Was In Self Defense
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.

See photos from the incident:

"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, 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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Originally published