France: demonstrations to pay tribute to a beheaded teacher

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PARIS – Protesters in France will call on Sunday to support freedom of expression and to pay tribute to a history professor beheaded near Paris after discussing caricatures of the prophet of Islam Muhammad with his class.Samuel Paty was beheaded on Friday by an 18-year-old Chechen refugee, born in Moscow, shot dead by police.

Politicians, associations and unions will demonstrate on Sunday afternoon in Paris and in other major cities such as Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Nantes, Marseille, Lille and Bordeaux.

The rallies come as French authorities say they have arrested an eleventh person after the murder.

French counterterrorism prosecutor Jean-Fran├žois Ricard said an investigation into suspected terrorist murder had been opened. At least four of those detained are family members of the attacker, who had obtained a 10-year residence in France as a refugee in March, was armed with a knife and an airsoft gun, which fires plastic pellets.

Her half-sister joined the Islamic State group in Syria in 2014, Ricard said. He didn’t give her her name and no one knew where she was now.

The prosecutor said a text claiming responsibility and a photo of the victim were found on the suspect’s phone. He also confirmed that a Twitter account under the name of Abdoulakh A belonged to the suspect. He posted a photo of the decapitated head minutes after the attack with the message “I executed one of the hellhounds who dared to slaughter Muhammad.”

The beheading shocked moderate French Muslims. A group of imams from the Lyon region is holding a special meeting on Sunday to discuss together what the group called “the appalling assassination of our compatriot by a terrorist who in the name of uncertain faith committed the irreparable”.

The attack drew worldwide condemnation. US President Donald Trump opened up about the murder on Saturday night during a political rally in Janesville, Wisconsin.

“On behalf of the United States, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to a friend of mine, President (Emmanuel) Macron of France, where they had a vicious and vicious Islamic terror attack yesterday – beheading an innocent teacher in Paris,” said -he. “France is going through a difficult period and Macron is a great guy.”

The Associated Press



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