France sets out rallies in support for freedom of speech

Four students detained, while many others are in custody following the attacks on a history teacher in France.

In light of the tragic incident in France, 15 people and four students were taken into custody by the French police.

Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old history and geography teacher, was beheaded after showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during class. In the weeks leading to the incident, the teacher has been receiving death threats from Islam extremists.

Thousands of people came out to the streets over the weekend to protest the killing of the teacher.

Having that said, a national tribute will be held at the Sorbonne University of Paris, France, on Wednesday, Oct. 21. The event will be held to honor “freedom of speech” and Paty.

His refusal to cooperate

AFP news agency reported that four students were detained after being accused of taking money to point out the teacher. The killer was identified as an 18-year-old Chechen refugee Abdoulakh Abouyezidovitch.

The accused followed the teacher who was on his way home before stabbing and beheaded him. Before the police could reach the incident area, the killer uploaded photos and videos of the attack to other ISIS supporters on Twitter.

The accused was later shot dead on the same day, within 600 meters of the scene, after firing an air gun at the police and refusing to cooperate. Later that day, the accused’s parents, grandfather, and 17-year-old brother were detained by the police.

Amongst the other detainees was a student’s father who filed a complaint against the teacher. Furthermore, he posted a video on social media with the school address and called for mobilization against the teacher.

Ruling against teachers in France

The officials also raided nearly 40 homes of suspected individuals on Monday, Oct. 19. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin further accused two members of issuing a “fatwa”, a form of ruling against the teacher.

Additionally, the minister called out the organization Collective Against Islamophobia in France and labeled them as “the state’s enemies”. The organization is known for monitoring anti-muslim hate crimes in the country.

Coming together to show support

In the rallies that took place over the weekend, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Prime Minister Jean Castex, and many other politicians from the opposition parties joined to support the moment.

The devastating incident took place a month after trials began for the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks in 2015. In that incident, 17 people were killed in total, and the accused Kouachi brothers were gunned down the same day. Others concerning the incident were arrested and are faced with jail sentences up to 20 years.

Image courtesy of Katerina Knyazeva/Shutterstock

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