The wife of a Syrian refugee tripped by a TV camerawoman as he carried his young son across the Hungarian border has spoken of the moment she saw the incident broadcast in Turkey.
Osama Abdul Mohsen was running across the frontier with Serbia on Sept. 8 with Zaid, seven, in his arms when a Hungarian news camera operator stuck her leg out, sending the pair to the ground.
The incident was caught by other TV cameras and sparked outrage around the world, leading to Petra Laszlo’s dismissal by N1TV. She is now facing criminal charges.
“When I saw my husband and child falling… the world collapsed around me,” Muntaha Mohsen told Anadolu Agency from the flat she shares in the south-eastern province of Mardin with another two children.
She added: “If the camerawoman is not punished, the same thing can be repeated in other places. Before tripping my husband, she had tripped four other people.”
Osama and Zaid - together with another son, 18-year-old Mohammad, who they met in Germany - are now living in Madrid, where they are being housed by a football coach training company that has said it will employ Osama.
In sharp contrast to his arduous journey from Turkey to Spain, Zaid walked out on to the Santiago Bernabeu pitch with Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo on Saturday.
Before fleeing Syria, Osama worked as a football coach for El Fotuwa club in the family’s hometown Deir ez-Zor.
Muntaha said the family was forced to flee Syria 18 months ago as the civil war raged.
They took shelter in Turkey before Mohammed set off for Germany, followed months later by Osama and Zaid.
“We were fleeing the war,” Muntaha said. “Be sure that we were not going anywhere of own will. We love our country so much but there is war and hundreds of people are dying every single day. Children are being massacred.”
Referring to the trip on her husband and son, she added: “Experiencing such an incident while being in this situation saddens us deeply.”
Another son Muhannet, 18, said the remaining family hoped to join his father and brothers in Spain.
Daughter Doga, 13, added: “We want so much to join them. We do not want our family to be split up like this.”Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.