Petra Laszlo was fired after being filmed tripping a Syrian refugee, now she plans to claim damages
Remember the Hungarian camerawoman who was filmed and subsequently fired for tripping a Syrian refugee called Osama Abdul Mohsen as he attempted to flee aggressive, baton-wielding police while carrying his young son? You may do, because it’s a bad thing to do and bad things stick around in the memory.
It’s bad a for a few reasons – namely because tripping somebody as they try to escape police makes you a grass (there are of course exceptions to this rule, but not many). It’s bad because this is a person carrying their child, desperately seeking a better life in a country they don’t know, having escaped a country torn apart by a bloody civil war. It’s bad because as a journalist in the field, your job is to report on reality rather than meddle with it.
Camerawoman Petra Laszlo was also caught on camera kicking two refugees as they fled Hungarian police. Although she apologised for her actions, at this point in her life she was a lean, mean, refugee-kicking machine.
Despite having written a letter to a Hungarian newspaper explaining that she is "not a heartless, racist, children-kicking camerawoman", Russian newspaper Izvestia reports that Laszlo intends to sue Facebook for damages, as she believes that the social network was instrumental in amplifying her poor reputation. She also wants to "prove the refugee Osama wrong". Other media outlets have reported that Laszlo wants to sue Mr Osama Abdul Mohsen as well (that would be crazy), but having combed through the translation of her interview, we’re not sure that this is true.
Laszlo claims that Facebook did not do enough to shut down groups or individuals who were threatening her online and showed no interest in eradicating fake profiles set up to mock her. She believes that the social network "played a major role in my situation and helped people against me." She hopes to have the trial begun by December.
In the aftermath of the kicking, Laszlo claimed that "something snapped in me. I just thought that I was attacked and I have to protect myself." Watch the video of both incidents below.