Two teenagers accused of pointing French teacher Samuel Paty to his killer who beheaded him were charged on Wednesday with complicity in terrorist murders, prosecutors said as the nation paid tribute to the slain teacher.
“We do not want to give up cartoons,” President Emmanuel Macron said earlier in a solemn ceremony at the Sorbonne University in Paris attended by Patys’ family, who aimed to show cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed in a bourgeois class discussion on free speech earlier this month. .
The president awarded France’s highest civilian award, the Legion of Honor, to Paty, saying he had been killed by “sweepers” for representing the secular, democratic values of the French Republic.
“He was killed because Islamists want our future,” Macron said. “They never get it.”
Earlier Wednesday, anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said the two teenagers – aged 14 and 15 – had been in a group of students sharing 300-350 euros ($ 356- $ 414) offered by the killer to help find Paty .
The two stayed with the killer, 18-year-old Abdullakh Anzorov, who was born in Chechnya, for more than two hours, waiting for Paty, even after telling them he would “humiliate and beat” him over the Mohamed cartoons. , considered offensive by many Muslims, Ricard said.
Anzorov then killed Paty when he returned home on foot from secondary school, where he taught in the suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine outside Paris.
The couple is among seven people accused by authorities of the murder.
The parent of one of Paty’s students who started the campaign on social media against the teacher, even though his daughter was not in class when the comics were shown, was also charged with the same offense as the two teenagers, the National Prosecution Service against terrorism. said late on Wednesday.
A well-known Islamist radical was also accused of aiding the father in his campaign.
Paty, 47, became the target of an online hate campaign over his choice of lesson material – the same images that released a bloody attack by Islamist gunmen in the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January 2015.
>> Charlie Hebdo terror trial: Widow of cartoonist Wolinski speaks to FRANCE 24
A lawsuit opened in Paris last month for complicity in the attack, which claimed the lives of 12 people, including cartoon characters.
Anzorov beheaded Paty with a long knife and tweeted a picture of the teacher’s severed head on Twitter before being shot by police. Many of Paty’s students saw the disturbing picture online.
The student’s father had exchanged messages with Anzorov via WhatsApp in the days leading up to the murder.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has accused the father and the Islamist radical of issuing a “fatwa” against Paty.
The other three in charge of prosecution are friends of Anzorov, one of whom allegedly drove him to the crime scene while another accompanied him to buy a weapon.
Two of them are also facing complicity in terrorist murders, while the third was charged with a minor offense, the anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office said.
Police have carried out dozens of raids since the crime, while the government has ordered a six-month closure of a mosque outside Paris and disbanded the Sheikh Yassin Collective, a group they said supported Hamas.
The Palestinian militant group said on Wednesday that it had “no ties” with the French organization founded by Abdelhakim Sefrioui – the Islamist radical who was remanded in custody over Pity’s assassination.
The French government has earmarked more than 50 other organizations for dissolution, which it accuses of being affiliated with radical Islam.
“Our fellow citizens expect action,” Macron said Tuesday, promising the government will intensify a hard-hitting radical Islamist crackdown.
Paty’s beheading was the second knife attack in revenge to avenge the Prophet Mohammed since the trial of Charlie Hebdo began last month.
The killing has led to an outpouring of sentiment and solidarity in France, with tens of thousands taking part in nationwide rallies over the weekend.
Thousands more took part in a silent march in honor of the teacher in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on Tuesday.
France’s sports ministry said on Wednesday that participants in all professional sporting events this weekend – football, basketball, handball, rugby and ice hockey and volleyball – would observe a minute’s silence before the match for Paty and wear black bracelets for matches scheduled for next week.