Dutch photojournalist Teun Voeten and videographer Maaike Engels were shooting a documentary at a migrant camp in Calais, France, earlier this month when the photographer was mugged by three refugees armed with pepper spray and a knife. The attack was stopped when other migrants in the camp came to the rescue.
The whole incident was captured by Engels in the 40-second video above.
The duo was shooting for their new independent film “Calais: Welcome to the Jungle,” which aims to bring awareness to the living conditions of the ~4,000-person camp, which is often referred to as “The Jungle.”
While the camera was rolling, three men descended upon Voeten and apparently tried to steal his pricey DSLR camera. They then turned on Engels, who defended herself by kicking them.
The attackers escaped with Voeten’s notebook after other refugees came to the rescue by chasing the robbers and throwing rocks, and the notebook was tossed to the side as the offenders fled.
— teun voeten (@teunvoeten) January 16, 2016
Engels’ video clip has become controversial since being posted to YouTube. As it amassed hundreds of thousands of views, some used it to push an anti-immigration message, while pro-immigration supporters criticized Engels for sharing it online.
The journalists are standing by their decision to make the video public.
“We put it online because it’s a perfect representation of refugees in general,” they tell The Local. “You have good refugees and bad refugees. The bad ones were robbing us while the good ones were rescuing us.”
“We have provided enough context. We have huge problems with self-censorship, and disagree with withholding information from the public for fear they are not mature enough to handle it.”