Tuesday, 20 October, 2020

French prosecutor speaks to media about teacher's beheading near Paris

Police arrest nine after teacher beheaded in Paris suburb French authorities detain 9 in connection with teacher’s beheading
Deanna Wagner | 19 October, 2020, 03:27

Mr Macron said: "One of our citizens was assassinated because he was teaching pupils freedom of expression, "It was no coincidence that the terrorist killed a teacher because he wanted to kill the Republic and its values".

Thousands gathered in and around Paris' Place de la République, some holding signs showing the front page of Charlie Hebdo - a satirical magazine targeted by extremists after showing cartoons of the prophet - while others lofted placards, saying, "No to Islamisation" and "Nazislamisation is cutting our throats".

"I can not imagine how we got to this point", said Cécile Ribet Retel, a member of the parent's association at the school, College du Bois d'Aulne.

"The killing of the history and geography teacher in the commune of Conflans-Saint-Honorine on Friday has caused upset for the continued terror threats in France and at the same time produced an outpouring of support about the tragedy".

On Saturday morning, floral tributes were laid outside the College Bois d'Aulne, where Samuel had taught.

In a tweet, Charlie Hebdo expressed its "sense of horror and revolt" at Friday's attack.

Jean-François Ricard, France's top anti-terrorism prosecutor, said at a news conference Saturday that a photo of the teacher's body was found on the assailant's cellphone.

France's parliament suspended Friday's debate after news of the decapitation, with session president Hugues Renson, visibly moved, calling the attack "abominable".

People gather at the Place de la Republique in Paris, to pay tribute to Samuel Paty, Oct. 18, 2020.

"I am here as a teacher, as a mother, as a Frenchwoman and as a republican", said participant Virginie.

The attack has provoked a strong worldwide rebuke.

It also comes amid-and is partly shaped by- the country's very different battle against another crisis, the coronavirus pandemic. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information. The second man's partner was likewise taken in for questioning.

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Ricard told reporters on Saturday that the attacker, who he identified as Abdoullakh Aboutezidovitch A., was an 18-year-old Chechen refugee.

The magazine republished the controversial cartoons in the run-up to the trial, and last month a young Pakistani man wounded two people with a meat cleaver outside Charlie Hebdo's former office. In both cases, the suspects appeared to retaliate against the publication's cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which originally inspired the January 2015 terrorist attack. A trial over the Islamist assault is now underway in Paris.

Police shot the attacker dead minutes after he murdered the 47-year-old history teacher.

Nordine Chaouadi, a parent of a 13-year-old in Paty's class, told Agence France-Presse that he had allowed Muslim students to leave the classroom during the discussion. "It's school as a whole that's under attack in wanting to open minds".

Earlier this month Paty had shown his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression, angering a number of Muslim parents.

Islam prohibits images of the prophet, considering that they lead to idolatry.

But some parents were not happy.

The schoolgirl's father and a known Islamist militant are among 10 people arrested.

According to Le Journal du Dimanche, authorities considered Sefrioui to be an agitator but not unsafe. The controversy began on October 7, when the father of a Muslim student posted a video on Facebook criticizing the teacher and asking for his resignation.

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For their part, leaders of France's Muslim community, western Europe's largest, fear the latest attack will intensify anti-Muslim sentiment they say has been rising in recent years.