France to pay respects to beheaded teacher with ceremony at Sorbonne

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France will pay tribute Wednesday to a history teacher beheaded in a quiet Paris suburb as President Emmanuel Macron promised to intensify a clampdown on Islamist extremism.

Police have carried out dozens of raids, while the government has ordered the six-month closure of a mosque and plans to dissolve a group that supports Palestinian militant group Hamas.

“Our fellow citizens expect actions,” Macron said during a visit to a Paris suburb on Tuesday. “These actions will be stepped up.”

Flowers are layed in front of the middle school (college) during a vigil march, dubbed a ‘Marche Blanche’ (White March) to pay respect to the teacher Samuel Paty who was assassinated in Conflans Saint-Honorine, near Paris, France, 20 October 2020. EPA-EFE/JULIEN DE ROSA

Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old teacher, was attacked on Friday on his way home from the junior high school where he taught in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 40 kilometres (25 miles) northwest of Paris.

On Wednesday evening, Macron will attend an official memorial with Paty’s family and some 400 guests at the Sorbonne university, posthumously giving the teacher France’s highest award, the Legion d’Honneur.

Paty had been the subject of an online hate campaign since showing pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed during class on free speech — the same images that sparked a bloody assault on the officials of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo when they were originally published five years ago.

Seven people, including two minors, will appear before an anti-terrorism judge on Wednesday for possible indictments in Paty’s case, according to a judicial source. Nine other people were freed Tuesday evening.

Killer Abdullakh Anzorov — an 18-year-old originally from the Russian region of Chechnya — was shot dead by police shortly after the assault.

Read more via France 24

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