|LASZLO TRIPPING REFUGEES|
A few months back, a video went viral showing a Hungarian camerawoman tripping a Syrian refugee carrying his child.
The refugee — named Osama Abdul Mohsen — experienced a fairytale ending as he was offered residency, a professional soccer coaching job, and housing in Spain. His youngest son, Zaid, even got to meet a personal hero in soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
But not all stories have fairytale endings. Petra Laszlo, the woman in the video above, was fired from her job with Hungarian television station N1TV and quickly became the target of abuse from numerous social media users. Laszlo then apologized in an open letter to a Hungarian newspaper. “Then something snapped in me,” she wrote in Magyar Nemzet. “I just thought that I was attacked and I have to protect myself. It’s hard to make good decisions at a time when people are in a panic.”
She added, “I’m not a heartless, racist, children-kicking camerawoman.”
Assumptions are hard to make in such situations. Nonetheless, Laszlo’s kicking doesn’t appear to be defensive, as she sticks her leg out while the camera stays near her eye. Nor was Abdul Mohsen the only refugee she kicked, as evident in the video. And any sympathy for a woman who wrote the words, “I’m just an unemployed mother of small children, who made a bad decision. I am truly sorry,” is sure to fade as she’s announced her intent to sue Abdul Mohsen — the refugee she tripped — and, oddly enough, Facebook.
Her lawsuits aren’t likely to stand up in court very long.
“We [her and her husband] believe Facebook played a major role in my situation. It helped embitter people against me,” Laszlo told Russian-daily Izvestia, according to Al-Jazeera. “It is safe to say that my life is broken,” she said.
But her lawsuits aren’t likely to stand up in court very long. “Anyone who’s conducting a harassment campaign against her might be liable directly,” Eric Goldman, an expert on internet law at Santa Clara University, told The Washington Post. “They’re the real wrongdoers, but they’re hard to find, there may be many of them and they might not have much money.”
[cross-posted from thinkprogress]