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Shocked France rallies in solidarity after beheading of trainer

PARIS: Thousands of individuals rallied in central Paris Sunday in a defiant present of solidarity with a trainer beheaded for displaying pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
Demonstrators on the Place de la Republique held aloft posters declaring: “No to totalitarianism of thought” and “I am a teacher” in reminiscence of the decapitated sufferer Samuel Paty.

Thousands of individuals rally in Paris and different French cities on October 18 in a present of solidarity and defiance after a trainer was beheaded for displaying pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. (AFP)
Some chanted “I am Samuel”, echoing the “I am Charlie” cry that travelled around the globe after Islamist gunmen killed 12 individuals on the Charlie Hebdo satirical journal in 2015 for publishing caricatures of the Islamic prophet.
Between bursts of applause, others recited: “Freedom of expression, freedom to teach.”
Demonstrations are additionally deliberate for the cities of Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Nantes, Marseille, Lille and Bordeaux.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex (L), Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo (C) and Paris deputy mayor Audrey Pulvar (R) stand as individuals collect on Place de la Republique in Paris on October 18, 2020. (AFP)
Paty’s assassination has shocked the nation and introduced again recollections of a wave of Islamist violence in 2015 that began with the Charlie Hebdo bloodbath.
Those killings noticed some 1.5 million individuals collect on the Place de la Republique in help of freedom of expression.

People lay flowers, Place de la Liberte in Lille on October 18, 2020, in homage to historical past trainer Samuel Paty two days after he was beheaded by an attacker. (AFP)
Ahead of Sunday’s gathering, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer known as on “everyone to support the teachers”, telling broadcaster France 2 that it was important to indicate “our solidarity and unity”.
Prime Minister Jean Castex and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo had been amongst these current.
“I am here as a teacher, as a mother, as a Frenchwoman and as a republican,” mentioned Virginie, a type of gathered.
On Saturday, anti-terror prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard mentioned Paty had been the goal of on-line threats previous to his homicide for displaying the cartoons to his civics class.
Depictions of the prophet are extensively considered taboo in Islam.
A photograph of the trainer and a message confessing to his homicide was discovered on the cell phone of his killer, 18-year-old Chechen Abdullakh Anzorov, who was shot useless by police.
Witnesses mentioned the suspect was noticed on the college on Friday asking pupils the place he might discover Paty.
The father of 1 schoolgirl had launched a web based name for “mobilisation” towards the trainer and had sought his dismissal from the college.
The woman’s father and a identified Islamist militant are amongst these arrested, together with 4 members of Anzorov’s household.
An 11th particular person was taken into custody on Sunday, a judicial supply mentioned, with out offering particulars.
The aggrieved father had named Paty and gave the college’s tackle in a social media submit simply days earlier than the beheading which President Emmanuel Macron has labelled an Islamist terror assault.
Ricard didn’t say if the attacker had any hyperlinks to the college, pupils or dad and mom, or had acted independently in response to the net marketing campaign.
The prosecutor mentioned the attacker had been armed with a knife, an airgun and 5 canisters. He had fired at police and tried to stab them as they closed in on him.
He was in flip shot 9 instances.
The Russian embassy in Paris mentioned the suspect’s household had arrived in France from Chechnya when he was six and requested asylum.
Locals within the Normandy city of Evreux the place the attacker lived described him as low key, saying he received into fights as a toddler however calmed down as he grew to become more and more non secular lately.
Friday’s assault was the second of its variety since a trial began final month over the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo bloodbath.
The journal republished the cartoons within the run-up to the trial, and final month a younger Pakistani man wounded two individuals with a meat cleaver exterior the journal’s former workplace.
Ricard mentioned Paty’s homicide illustrated “the very high-level terrorist threat” France nonetheless faces however added the attacker was not identified to French intelligence companies.
On Saturday, lots of of pupils, lecturers, dad and mom and sympathisers flooded to Paty’s college to put white roses.
“For the first time, a teacher was attacked for what he teaches,” mentioned a trainer from a neighbouring city who gave solely his first title, Lionel.
According to oldsters and lecturers, Paty had given Muslim kids the choice to go away the classroom earlier than he confirmed the cartoons, saying he didn’t need their emotions harm.
And Kamel Kabtane, rector of the mosque of Lyon and a senior Muslim determine, mentioned Sunday that Paty had merely been “doing his job” and was “respectful” in doing so.
“These terrorists are not religious but are using religion to take power,” Kabtane advised AFP.
Ministers who type France’s defence council had been to satisfy Sunday to debate the Islamist menace.
A nationwide tribute is to be held for Paty on Wednesday.

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