search

France indicts Chechen-born refugee for ‘liking’ photo of murdered teacher

22-year-old charged with glorifying terrorism; several knives and other weapons found at his home, prosecutors say

People gather with portraits of slain teacher Samuel Paty during a demonstration, on October 18, 2020, in Paris. (AP Photo/ Michel Euler)
People gather with portraits of slain teacher Samuel Paty during a demonstration, on October 18, 2020, in Paris. (AP Photo/ Michel Euler)

RENNES, France — A young man who “liked” a gruesome Twitter picture showing French teacher Samuel Paty after he was murdered has been charged with glorifying terrorism, French authorities said Sunday.

Paty was attacked and killed on the street for showing his students cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a class on free speech.

His killer, an 18-year-old Chechen refugee who had been living in France since he was a child, was shot dead by police. Before his death, he posted a picture of the teacher’s severed head on Twitter.

The 22-year-old man charged on Sunday is also of Chechen origin, the public prosecutor in the central town of Blois, where he lives, said.

He was already on the radar of the authorities for having endorsed a massacre at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that first published the Mohammed cartoons.

Several knives and other weapons were found at his home, prosecutor Frederic Chevallier.

The man denied being radicalized, Chevallier added.

French police officers stand guard as adults and children gather in front of flowers displayed at the entrance of a middle school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 30 kilometers northwest of Paris, on October 17, 2020, after a teacher was decapitated by an attacker who was then shot dead by policemen. (Bertrand Guay/AFP)

Since Paty’s murder on October 16, the French authorities have launched a clampdown on radical Islam.

Police have carried out dozens of raids on individuals and organizations suspected of supporting or abetting extremism.

Depictions of the Prophet Mohammed are considered sacrilegious by many Muslims.

But in France, which has a long tradition of satirizing religion, they are seen as symbolic of free speech.

read more:
comments