The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European organisation, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), have today backed their affiliate, the Hungarian Press Union, which slammed a TV camerawoman who was filmed kicking refugees as they fled from police last Tuesday in Hungary.
In a video footage widely shared in media reports on the attack which took place on 8 September, Petra Laszlo, who worked for N1TV, is seen kicking several refugees, including children, as they ran from a police lines during disturbances at Roszke, southern Hungary. The footage, which was filmed by another journalist covering the event, shows Laszlo tripping up a man running with a child in his arms and kicking another running child.
“This is the biggest media scandal in Hungary for the last few months which has been dominated by the coverage of the migrants and refugees crisis,” said the Hungarian Press Union's Executive co-chairman, László M. Lengyel. “The whole profession condemns this.”
The IFJ and the EFJ were shocked by the behaviour of the camerawoman, urging journalists to uphold constantly their professional ethics while covering the current events, so as to avoid undermining their independence and public trust. (See the Associated Press (AP)'s TV interview to IFJ Deputy General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, here.)
N1TV, an online TV station close to Hungary’s far-right, has announced that they fired the camerawoman following the attack as she “behaved in an unacceptable way,” the N1TV’s editor-in-chief Szabolcs Kisberk was quoted saying in an statement appeared on the channel’s Facebook page.
The incident took place as hundreds of migrants broke through a police line at a collection point close to the Serbian border, in Roszke, one of the main accesses to the Schengen space which is used by thousands of refugees, media added.