France pays tribute this Saturday to Professor of History Samuel Paty, become a symbol of freedom of expression after being decapitated just one year by a young Chechen Islamist for having shown in class Mohamman cartoons.
On October 16, 2020, Samuel Paty, 47, was stabbed and then decapitated as he returned home in a street near his Bois D'Aulne School in the quiet Parisian suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.
His Assassin Abdullakh Anzorov, an 18-year-old chechen refugee shot soon after by the police, reproached him to have taught Muhammad cartoons in class and offered money to young students to show him who he was. In total, fifteen people have been charged in this case.
On Saturday, several ceremonies are held in homage to this professor of history and geography to whom President Emmanuel Macron described as "calm hero" of the French Republic.
At the Bois d'Aulne Institute in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, where paty worked, about 300 people concentrated under an awning. At the entrance of the National Education Ministry in Paris, the French Prime Minister Jean Castex inaugurated a plaque, accompanied by the parents and the family of Samuel Paty.
In a solemn speech, the head of government presented the professor as "a servant of the Republic", "victim of Islamist terrorism and human cowardice."
For his part, several hundred inhabitants of Eragny-sur-Oise, where Paty lived, father of a little boy, met mid-morning for a ceremony. An official reception was planned during the afternoon of the Paty family in the Elysee.
Samuel Paty "looked for the way to reflect," explained one of his sisters, Gaëlle, the newspaper La Croix. Teach the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, the same ones that were at the origin of bloody attack against the drafting of Charlie Hepdo magazine in 2015, was for the teacher "the starting point of a debate," he added.
But those drawings ended up signing their death sentence after the father of a student, backed by an Islamist militant, launched a virulent campaign against him on social networks.
Since then, the traumatized teachers of that high school center had kept silent before media requests.
But with the vicinity of the anniversary, seven of the 50 teachers of the School explained to the Libération newspaper and the Radio France Inter "his Samuel Paty", committed to his students and always willing to discuss with his companions. "A human being like the others" and not "the kind of myth" in which he has become unfortunately by the attack, one said.
After the attack, many teachers asked for the low. "Up to fifteen educators came to be absent simultaneously," says the rectorage of Versailles, which enabled a care telephone until the end of this month of October.
On Friday, school students were invited to read the poems they had written about their teacher. "The poems are fine, but they made me think that it would be fine to be with Him. I would have liked to learn to know it more," said AFP Guillaume, 14, who had Samuel Paty as the previous teacher. The school community was also shaken by the imputation of five students, between 13 and 15 years old at that time, for having pointed out the murderer who was the teacher.
The attack was "a commotion in many ways" and "his repercussion is still considerable," said Jean-Jacques Brot, prefect from the Yvelines Department, where the Institute is. From the point of view of security, "it implied a start in the reflection of all services, whether the Ministry of the Interior or Education, on intelligence, analysis or forecast".Updated Date: 16 October 2021, 15:22