Videographer Petra László has been fired by her employer N1TV after she was caught on camera Tuesday kicking and tripping refugees as they ran from police outside of a holding camp near the border between Serbia and Hungary. In the video, embedded above, László can be seen kicking three refugees, including a young girl and a man who subsequently tripped and fell on top of a child that he was carrying.
N1TV, a Hungarian news outlet reportedly associated with the nationalist Jobbik political party, posted a statement which read, “Today, a N1TV colleague behaved unacceptably at the Roeszke reception center. The cameraman’s employment was terminated with immediate effect.”
According to CNN, the refugees in the video, many of whom having been driven from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan by warring factions, had previously been held at a holding camp in southern Hungary near Roeszke for days under what some of the migrants described as inhumane conditions and fled the camp over fears that they would end up stuck in the camp in Hungary indefinitely without adequate provisions. Though some of the migrants have applied for asylum in Hungary, it is believed that many of them are only doing so temporarily in an effort to obtain safe passage to nations like Sweden and Germany.
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The European Union is currently struggling with a refugee and migrant crisis, as hundreds of thousands of people from war-torn, poverty-stricken, or despotically-ruled nations seek refuge in European nations. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, over 380,000 refugees and migrants have traversed the Mediterranean Sea, sometimes in improvised, unsafe vessels, to Europe in 2015 alone. UNHCR estimates that over 2,800 migrants have died or gone missing during their journeys.
Vice notes that Hungary began building a wall on its southern Border with Serbia in July in an effort to prevent migrants from crossing, an act that was condemned by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksander Vucic and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“We have only recently taken down walls in Europe; we should not be putting them up,” said Chancellor Merkel.
“A daily average of 1,000 illegal border crossers are arriving in Hungary, so illegal immigration has become a severe problem and its control a prominent task,” read a July joint statement by Hungary’s defense and interior ministries. Hungary, a participant in the 1951 Refugee Convention, claims that its anti-immigration policies are aimed at enforcing EU regulations on the movement of undocumented migrants.