Samuel Paty is a history teacher in France

On Sunday, tens of thousands of people gathered across different cities of France as a tribute to Samuel Paty, a teacher in a suburb in Paris, and in support of “freedom of expression,” reports said.

An 18-year-old man beheaded Paty outside his school last Friday, the Guardian reported.

According to reports, the teacher discussed freedom of speech and showed caricatures of the Islam prophet Mohammed, in his civic education class. 

The caricature came from the satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo

People who attended the demonstration at the Place de la Republique held posters with “Je suis Samuel,” phrases.

“Je suis Samuel” parallel France’s cry in 2015 after the shooting of 12 people at the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdoafter they published caricatures of the Muslim prophet. 

Other phrases present during the protests are “I am a teacher,” and “freedom of expression, freedom to teach.” 

French officials also joined the demonstrations. 

In fact, French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, joined the Paris demonstration, per Al Jazeera.

The Prime Minister recently wrote a post on Twitter saying, “you don’t scare us. We are not afraid. You will not divide us,” and lastly, “we are France.”

Other officials who were with the Prime Minister are Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanequer, Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

They are also joined by members of the opposition. 

Junior Interior Minister, Marlene Schiappa, shared she joined the demonstration to support teachers, secularism, and freedom of expression, per Al Jazeera. 

On Friday evening, French President Emmanuel Macron said the teacher was “assassinated–because he taught pupils freedom of expression.”

He also added that the teacher was a victim of a “typical Islamist terrorist attack.”

This happened 5 years after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo

What Happened?

The suspect attacked the teacher who was on his way home, said Jean-Francois Ricard, French anti-terrorism prosecutor.

The suspect, Abdullakh Anzorov, “decapitated” him and inflicted numerous wounds to the teachers head.

The police shot the suspect minutes after he murdered the history teacher. 

On Saturday, the authorities arrested and questioned nine people related to the suspect, including the suspect’s grandfather and younger brother. 

Early this month, the history and civics teacher showed his students caricatures of the prophet Mohammed to discuss freedom of expression. 

Before he discussed the topic, the teacher reportedly told his Muslim students they can leave the classroom if they want to. 

Muslims believe ay depiction of the Islam prophet as blasphemous.

According to reports, parents became furious and even asked for Paty’s resignation. 

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