France: Demonstrations expected after the decapitation of the professor

Demonstrations will take place across France this Sunday to pay tribute to the professor murdered Friday by an 18-year-old Russian refugee.

Flowers and candles have already been placed in front of the school where this 47-year-old father teacher taught.

AFP

Against the horror, the mobilization: important demonstrations are expected Sunday all over France in tribute to a teacher, beheaded Friday for showing his students caricatures of Mohammed, an attack which aroused enormous emotion and for which eleven people are in custody.

The leaders of the main political parties, associations and unions will demonstrate on Sunday at 3 p.m. in Paris and in many other cities including Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Nantes or even Marseille, Lille and Bordeaux.

The Charlie Hebdo newspaper, hard hit by Islamist terrorism in 2015, also joined the call in the capital.

The rally is to take place on Place de la République, a traditional place of demonstrations and the epicenter of the huge parade of January 11, 2015 after the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Hide attacks, which had gathered around 1.5 million participants.

Friday afternoon, Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old father, was beheaded near the college where he taught history and geography in a quiet area of ​​Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, in the western suburbs of Paris. His assailant, Abdoullakh Abouyezidovich A, an 18-year-old Russian refugee of Chechen origin, was then shot nine times by police.

Three weeks after an Islamist attack during which a Pakistani had wounded two people who were in front of the former premises of Charlie Hebdo with a chopper, and in the midst of the debate over religious separatism, the assassination revolted the country.

Denounce barbarism

As of Saturday, several hundred people gathered in Nice (south-east) or Rennes (west) to denounce an “act of barbarism” and defend “the values ​​of democracy”.

A national tribute will be paid Wednesday in coordination with the family of the murdered teacher, announced the presidency of the Republic without specifying the location.

The leader of the deputies Les Républicains (right) Damien Abad for his part suggested that the body of the teacher be transferred to the Pantheon, where the great figures of the French Republic such as the writer Victor Hugo or the scientist Marie are buried Curie, pleading for a “strong symbolic act”.

Prime Minister Jean Castex told the Journal du Dimanche to work on “an even stronger, faster and more effective response strategy when a teacher is threatened”.

According to the elements unveiled by the anti-terrorist prosecutor Jean-François Ricard, the history teacher had organized with his students a debate, planned as part of civic education classes, during which he showed caricatures of the prophet Muhammad . He then suggested to the students who wished not to look at certain drawings.

The father of a student, placed in police custody, was indignant about this course in several videos, making public on the internet the name of the professor and the address of the college, and going to meet the principal to ask for his dismissal. The professor then received several threatening calls.

“Before and after”

In Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, where the attack took place, a thousand parents, elected officials or ordinary citizens gathered with emotion on Saturday in front of the college where Samuel Paty worked. Many of them were carrying “I am a teacher” or “I am a teacher” signs.

“There will be a before and an after October 16 as a teacher: for the first time, a teacher is attacked for what he teaches”, testified Lionel, a history-geography teacher from the neighboring town of Herblay.

The pupils are also very affected, like Marie, currently in second and coming in front of her old establishment to lay flowers in “homage to her former teacher”.

“I remember his free speech class. We had talked about Charlie, we had made drawings which are still hanging in the college, ”explains the young girl, moved.

Spotting

Known for a background of common law but not intelligence services for radicalization, Adboullakh A. had carried out scouting Friday afternoon near the college, according to Jean-François Ricard.

A message addressed to Emmanuel Macron, “the leader of the infidels”, explaining wanting to take revenge on the one “who dared to belittle Muhammad” and the photo of his beheaded victim were found in his phone. They had also been posted on Twitter.

His neighbors painted the portrait of a young man “discreet”, “immersed in religion” for three years. Moscow for its part insisted via its embassy in Paris on the fact that “this crime had nothing to do with Russia”, the young man having left the minor country.

A total of eleven people have been arrested and placed in police custody since Friday evening, including relatives of the assailant, but also some people who delivered the professor to retribution. In total, the wave of unprecedented jihadist attacks that began in 2015 in France left 259 people dead.

(AFP/NXP)

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