The Hungarian camerawoman who kicked and tripped a Syrian refugee running from Hungarian police is now suing that refugee and Facebook. Petra Laszlo is suing Facebook because, as the Russian newspaper Izvestia reports, the website refuses to take down derogatory content about her, and instead deletes groups that support Laszlo. And she’s suing the refugee whom she tripped, Osama Abdul Mohsen, because she can.
Laszlo wrote in the Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet that suing Mohsen is a “matter of honor,” since he has changed the court testimony of his fall. Why is Mohsen testifying against Laszlo in court? Well, two of Hungary’s political parties, Együtt-PM and the Democratic Coalition, want Laszlo to be charged with “violence against a member of the community,” according to The Guardian. This act is punishable by up to five years in prison. Whoops.
To make matters even worse, when Laszlo tripped Mohsen, she caused him to fall on his young son. Tripping a refugee and causing injury and emotional trauma to a small child doesn’t make Laszlo look very good here. This doesn’t help her previous apology, either.
“I am not a heartless, child-kicking, racist camera operator,” Laszlo insisted in her Magyar Nemzet piece. I would argue that the “heartless” and “racist” parts are questionable, But she did, in fact, kick a child while she was operating a camera, which unfortunately makes her at the very least a child-kicking camera operator. Sorry, Laszlo. You tried.
Laszlo’s suit against Facebook seems to be a bit more solid. There are, in fact, many Facebook pages dedicated to shaming Laszlo, the most popular of which (the Petra Laszlo Shame Wall) has more than 12,000 likes. That’s a lot of shamers.
Should Laszlo be suing Mohsen? Definitely not. The woman tripped him while he was running for his life. Should Laszlo be suing Facebook? Mmm, no. She might as well sue the 12,000 people who are actively supporting her public shaming.
As easy as it is for me and everyone else who hasn’t recently tripped a Syrian refugee to understand the events of the last several weeks, Laszlo seems to think Facebook is running a conspiracy against her. Understandably, more people dislike Laszlo than support her, and Facebook is just a way for people to exercise these opinions very frequently and intensely.
Call me socially ignorant, but I for one don’t see why anyone would start a page defending a woman who tripped a refugee, even if her actions were accidental. And if someone out there did want to support Laszlo, I don’t think Facebook is the type of company that has time to search for and delete every pro-Laszlo page on its website. But hey, it’s your life, Petra Laszlo, sue whomever you want.
The story of the camerawoman and the refugee ends in a nice little epilogue, though. Mohsen is now living in Madrid, and has a cozy little job of teaching at Spain’s national football academy, The Huffington Post reports. He’ll be teaching children how to avoid getting tripped for years to come.
As for Laszlo, she’s considering moving her family to Russia, since she doesn’t have a reporting job to tie her down anymore, she told Iszvestia. Maybe she’ll find a more accepting community there, in her self-imposed exile. Good luck, Laszlo, and watch who you kick in the future.