Thousands of people, including French Prime Minister Jean Castex, rallied in Paris on Sunday to “pay tribute” to slain teacher Samuel Paty and to demonstrate a commitment to the principles of free speech, the Daily Mail reported.
French authorities have also reportedly arrested the parent of a student in Paty’s history class who “denounced the teacher online” and may have posted some of Paty’s personal details, including the address of the school.
Paty, a history teacher, was beheaded in an Islamic terror attack last week after reportedly showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed to his class. An 18-year-old Chechen man, Aboulakh Anzorov, who was suspected in the attack, was shot and killed after a confrontation with police, The Daily Wire reported Saturday.
“A knife-wielding man decapitated a teacher near a school in a suburb north of Paris on Friday afternoon and was later shot dead by the police, officials said, abruptly hitting France with a national trauma that revived memories of recent terrorist attacks,” The New York Times noted, per The Daily Wire. Police confronted Anzorov, who was still brandishing the knife he used in the attack, and when he refused to surrender, shot him 10 times.
Anzorov, who authorities say has ties to ISIS and appears to have trained with the international terror network in Syria several years ago, also posted the attack to social media, showing clear footage of Paty’s severed head and lifeless body. The footage was shown on Chechen ISIS networks, according to the Daily Mail.
Sunday marked a nationwide tribute to Paty and to the principles of freedom of expression and “freedom to teach.”
“The French prime minister has joined thousands of demonstrators rallying in tribute to a history teacher who was brutally beheaded at a school near Paris for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to his class,” the Mail noted. “In Paris, thousands including French Prime Minister Jean Castex gathered to pay tribute to the slain teacher in a defiant show of solidarity at the Place de la Republique.”
“Some held placards reading ‘I am Samuel’ that echoed the ‘I am Charlie’ rallying cry after the 2015 attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which published caricatures of Mohammed,” the outlet continued. “A moment’s silence was observed across the square, broken by applause and a rendition of La Marseillaise, the French national anthem. Others recited: ‘Freedom of expression, freedom to teach.'”
Authorities also announced Sunday that they arrested the father of one of Paty’s students and other parents are under investigation.
“Brahim Chnina, father of a 13-year-old girl in Paty’s class,” Daily Mail says, “denounced the teacher online and gave details of the school. Branding Mr. Paty a thug in a video posted on Twitter sometime in the last week, he asked the community to complain about the teacher’s behavior. The killer is presumed to have seen the video and acted upon it.”