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Beheading of Samuel Paty: Murder of teacher sparks protests across France

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Thousands gathered in and around Paris’ Place de la Rpublique, some holding signs showing the front page of Charlie Hebdo – a satirical magazine targeted by extremists after showing cartoons of the prophet – while others holding up banners saying, “Not for “Islamization” and “Nazism is cutting our throats”.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Prime Minister Jean Castex and other politicians were present at the protests.

A special needs teacher working in the Paris area told CNN that she joined the demonstration because she was shocked by the murder.

“We all need to live together and learn to live together, and everyone needs to respect everyone ‘s trust,” she said.

The killer took credit, the prosecutor says

Abdoullakh Abouyezidovitch, an 18-year-old Chechen refugee, took credit for beheading Friday at Samuel Paty, 47, who taught history and geography at the Collge du Bois d’Aulne. Police killed the teenager Friday afternoon in ragny, the same suburb of Paris where Paty’s body was found.

Paty had given a freedom of expression class during which he used cartoons of the prophet taken from Charlie Hebdo, sparking controversy in the weeks leading up to his death, authorities said.

Before police killed him on Friday, Abouyezidovitch said on Twitter that he had executed one of the “hell dogs” of French President Emmanuel Macron who had despised the venerable prophet, anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Franois Ricard said.
Samuel Paty, 47, a French history and geography teacher was killed in Paris on October 16, 2020.

Abouyezidovitch approached students outside the school, located on the outskirts of Paris, Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, asking them to point to Pat before attacking the teacher on the way home, Ricard said.

Abouyezidovitch, who was not known to the intelligence services, lived in Vreux, more than an hour’s drive from the scene of the attack, the prosecutor said. It was unclear whether Abouyezidovitch had attended the Collge du Bois d’Aulne.

Paty had organized a lesson about Charlie Hebdo cartoons, Ricard said. Nordine Chaouadi, a parent of one of the students at the school, told Agence France-Presse that Paty took steps to avoid offending young Muslims in his classroom.

“It was just to preserve them. It was out of pure kindness because he had to show a caricature of the Prophet of Islam and he just said to the Muslim children, ‘Come out, I do not want it to hurt your feelings.’ “That’s what my son told me,” he said.

Several people were taken into custody

After a Danish newspaper controversially published the cartoons in 2005, Charlie Hebdo republished them the following year.

In 2015, 17 people were killed in a terrorist attack that began at Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris and continued for three days. Paty’s murder came as 14 people accused of involvement in the attacks were tried. Trials began in Paris last month and Charlie Hebdo said he would republish the cartoons again.

On October 7, a father of one of Paty’s students called for Paty to be fired on Facebook. He also filed a complaint and posted a YouTube video critical of the teacher. Paty responded with a defamation complaint, Ricard said.

People stand near the flowers displayed at the entrance to the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.

Police have arrested 11 people for questioning. Including the father who complained about Paty and the brother-in-law of the man, who is suspected of being “a member of the Islamic State Organization in 2014 in Syria and is, as such, the subject of a search warrant by an anti-terrorism judge”, said the prosecutor.

Abouyezidovitch’s parents, grandfather and brother were also taken in for questioning, a French judicial source said.

French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said Paty was killed “for teaching a class that had to do with one of the pillars of democracy – freedom of expression”.

“Samuel Paty embodied our Republic’s noblest fortune: its schools. He was cowardly killed by the enemies of freedom. We will be united, determined and determined,” Blanquer wrote in a tweet.

Macron said Paty was “killed because he was teaching students freedom of speech, freedom of belief and disbelief.”

CNN’s Pierre Bairin, Eva Tapiero, Martin Goillandeau and Ivana Kottasov contributed to this report.

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