A Hungarian camerawoman was fired from her job at a local news station Tuesday after video footage posted online appeared to show her intentionally tripping and kicking refugees fleeing police near the country’s border.
The video was recorded near the border village of Röszke, where refugees fleeing chaos in the Middle East and Africa have been stranded for days. Hungary is struggling to contain a massive influx of immigration from the Middle East and Africa, and in recent days, refugees stranded in the country have stood off with police or embarked for the border on foot.
Another journalist standing nearby recorded the video, which shows the camerawoman intentionally tripping a man who is running with a child in his arms and kicking others, including what appears to be a child, fleeing a police confrontation.
— Stephan Richter (@RichterSteph) September 8, 2015
After the video emerged Tuesday, Hungarian news station N1TV announced on Facebook that she had been fired. "Our N1TV colleague today behaved unacceptably at the Röszke collection point," N1TV Editor-in-Chief Szabolcs Kisber wrote in the post, declining to identify the woman.
Hungary’s ruling government has spoken against the influx of refugees and the European Union’s policy to resettle them. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced renewed efforts to build a fence that would seal the country’s border with Serbia.
Orban had previously told other European leaders that Hungary would take steps to more strongly punish refugees who breached or damaged the border fence. “We Hungarians are full of fear. People in Europe are full of fear, because we see that European leaders, among them the prime ministers, are not capable of controlling the situation,” Orban said at a Brussels meeting earlier this month.
International groups and watchdogs have voiced their concern over the treatment of refugees entering Hungary. A spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told the Associated Press Tuesday that "the border police are not trained to deal with the refugees."
"When people come in you need to receive them properly. There are women and children and they are just kept in the open. Temperatures are going down as well so we need to have a system where these people receive proper care," he added.
Central European nations have called for a more coordinated response to the crisis, but several other E.U. countries have pushed back. Leaders from Germany and France have committed to taking in a million refugees over the next few years between the two countries, and have pushed for a stronger response from other European countries, which German Chancellor Angela Merkel said represented a “sharing of duty … the principle of solidarity,” earlier this month.