Teacher killed in an attack receives the highest French award

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Samuel Paty, the 47-year-old French teacher who was killed in an attack last week, will posthumously receive the highest French award – the Legion d’Honneur. According to education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer, he is “more than worth the recognition”.

A national commemoration ceremony will also take place in the University of Paris on Wednesday.

Paty was a history and geography teacher who taught at a school in a suburb of Paris. Earlier this month, he showed a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad during a lesson on freedom of speech.

According to the French interior minister Gérald Darmanin, there was a campaign of hatred against Paty, in which he also said a death curse was pronounced. This is said to have been supported by an Islamist group called Collectif contre l’islamophobie en France (collective against Islamophobia in France), which the minister now wants to ban.

An eighteen-year-old man of Chechen descent killed Paty while walking home from school. Ripped-out police officers shot the attacker. Eleven other suspects, including family members of the perpetrator, have been arrested.

Paty leaves behind a wife and a five-year-old son.

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