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Hungarian journalist filmed tripping man carrying migrant child

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 9/9/2015 Kim Hjelmgaard

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A journalist for a Hungarian TV channel was filmed tripping a man as he carried a child while running away from police officers near Hungary's border with Serbia, it emerged Wednesday.

Petra László, a camera operator for Hungary's N1TV television channel, was recording migrants fleeing police near the town of Rőszke on Tuesday when another journalist nearby saw her stick out her leg in front of the man, causing him to fall on top of the child.

László's motivation was not immediately clear. Attempts to reach her through N1TV were not successful. The station on Wednesday posted a message on its website saying László had been dismissed for "unacceptable behavior."

The 20-second video was captured by Stephan Richter, a reporter for RTL, a German television channel. He said that he did not know László and referred all questions about his video to an email address published on his Twitter feed.

In a separate video published by Hungary's Index news agency, László can be seen kicking two other migrants, one of whom appears to be a young girl. The circumstances surrounding that incident were also not immediately clear.

A Facebook "Shame Wall" condemning László's actions was subsequently set up. It received hundreds of messages and comments on Wednesday. One comment posted on the wall by Marco Ernte described the incident as the "dark side of Europe."  

Media outlets in Hungary and elsewhere reported that N1TV has close links to the country's far-right, anti-immigration Jobbik political party.

The United Nations warned this week that Hungary needs international help to deal with thousands of migrants who are crossing its borders in attempts to reach Germany and other European Union countries. While Hungary is a member of the EU, it has been criticized for its inconsistent approach to Europe's migration crisis and for not doing enough to provide shelter and other necessities for people on the move. 

Its prime minister, Viktor Orban, is trying to construct a wall along the Hungarian-Serbian border to stem the flow of migrants. 

Meanwhile, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, unveiled proposals Wednesday that if adopted would EU member states be bound to specific refugee quotas. Germany takes in many more refugees than other EU nations. 

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