The Algerian man who attacked a police officer with a hammer Tuesday in Paris was the 2009 recipient of a European Union award for his work against discrimination.
Farid Ikken caused panic by the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris after he swung a hammer at a police officer. He was subsequently shot by another police officer and had to receive treatment in the hospital. Ikken pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a video prior to the attack.
The 40-year-old Algerian worked as a freelance journalist in Sweden for several years. His article “Illegal violence” won the EU Commission’s 2009 Journalist Award “For Diversity. Against Discrimination.”
“The article is about asylum seekers who are not entitled to health care and have to obtain it in secrecy, as well as the health care workers who still provide health care to asylum seekers,” the EU Commission wrote in a statement, according to Swedish daily Expressen.
Ikken was honored by the recognition and vowed to continue his work for a diverse society against discrimination.
“It feels incredible and above anything else important to win this award,” Ikken said in a press release. “I’m happy that so many important topics, like discrimination and diversity, were recognized at a national level.”
Ikken moved back to Algeria briefly in 2013 before starting his PhD studies in France the following year. He was not previously known to authorities.
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