The following apology was issued by N1TV camera operator Petra László on Thursday. It appeared in pro-government online news portal Pestistracok.hu.
I am genuinely sorry about what happened. I have only just now managed to pull myself together enough to write. I am practically in a state of shock over what I did and what they did to me.
I was filming with a camera. Many hundreds of migrants broke out, broke through the police cordon. Some of them ran into me and I panicked. I was afraid they would overwhelm me, and then something snapped inside of me. With camera in hand I did not see who was coming towards me. I only thought they were attacking and that I needed to defend myself. It is difficult to make good decisions at such times when you are panicking and many hundreds of people are running towards you. For me, in that instant, I reacted badly. I am very sorry about what happened and especially as a mother that fate would put a child in my path and I didn’t notice. I panicked. As I see myself in the video, it is as though it isn’t even me. I genuinely regret my actions and I accept responsibility for them.
I am not a heartless, racist operator that kicks children. I deserved neither the political witch hunt against me nor the many death threats. I am only a woman who has become the unemployed mother of a small child, who made a bad decision in a panic situation. I am truly sorry.
(Although László writes that she is “prepared to take responsibility” for her actions, we note that her apology is not directed to the individuals she assaulted. It is for prosecutors and the courts to decide whether she deserves to be punished beyond the loss of her livelihood (and the world notoriety she achieved overnight). However, the fact that her former employer, N1TV, is the ultranationalist, xenophobic, racist, antisemitic, homophobic propaganda arm of Hungary’s radical right-wing Jobbik party suggests that she may, in fact, be “a heartless, racist operator that kicks children”-ed.)