PARIS (Reuters) – Seven more people, including two underage minors, were handed over to a judge overnight as part of the ongoing investigation into last week’s murder of French teacher Samuel Paty, said an official from the French anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office.
Paty was beheaded on Oct. 16 in broad daylight outside his school in a middle-class Paris suburb by an 18-year-old of Chechen origin. Police shot the attacker dead.
Investigators say the teenager had sought to avenge his victim’s use of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression. Muslims believe that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.
The murder shocked France, and carried echoes of the attack five years ago on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, after the magazine had also published cartoons of Prophet Mohammad. Public figures called the killing an attack on the Republic and on French values.
A national tribute in honor of Paty will be held at Paris’ Sorbonne university on Wednesday.
Reporting by Jean Terzian; Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Michael Perry
Image: FILE PHOTO: A man waves a French national flag during a silent march to pay tribute to Samuel Paty, the French teacher who was beheaded on the streets of the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, France, October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Lucien Libert