Samuel Paty: Six teenagers convicted for roles in teacher’s beheading in 2020

A portrait of murdered teacher Samuel Paty at the school where he taught
Image caption,A portrait of murdered teacher Samuel Paty at the school where he taught

Six teenagers have been convicted in France for their roles in the 2020 beheading of teacher Samuel Paty.

Mr Paty was killed outside his school in Paris after showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a class on freedom of expression.

A teenage girl was found to have lied about what happened in class, while five others were guilty of identifying Mr Paty to his attacker.

The sentences from 14 months to two years are all suspended or commuted.

Mr Paty’s name was disclosed on social media after caricatures published by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were shown during a class he taught.

The teenage girl told her parents that Mr Paty had asked Muslim pupils to leave the room before showing the caricatures.

But she had in fact been absent from the class in question. The court found her guilty of having made false accusation charges and slanderous comments.

Five defendants, aged 14 and 15 at the time, were found guilty of staking out the teacher.

They were convicted of involvement in a group preparing aggravated violence.

Mr Paty’s killer, Abdoullakh Anzorov, an 18-year-old Chechen refugee, was shot dead by police at the scene of the murder.

A second trial will open next year for eight adults also accused of complicity in the murder. These include Brahim Chnina, the father of the 13-year-old girl on trial.

Depictions of the Prophet Muhammad are widely regarded as taboo in Islam, and are considered highly offensive by Muslims.

The issue is particularly sensitive in France because of Charlie Hebdo’s decision to publish cartoons of the Prophet.

Twelve people were killed by Islamist extremists at the magazine’s offices in 2015 after the images were published.

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