French Court Convicts Six Teens For Participating In Islamic Extremist’s Beheading Of Teacher

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Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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Six teenagers were convicted Friday by a French juvenile court for their roles in the 2020 beheading of a teacher by an Islamic extremist, according to the Associated Press.

Five of the defendants, ages 14 and 15 at the time of the incident, were found guilty of involvement in stalking their history and geography teacher, Samuel Paty, and identifying him to the attacker, AP News reported. The sixth teen, who was 13 years old at the time, was found guilty of lying in online comments that provoked hatred against Paty. (RELATED: ISIS Leader Tied To American Beheading Killed In Missile Strike)

Paty was killed Oct. 16, 2020 outside the school he worked for after he showed his class cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published by a French satire magazine, Charlie Hebdo, according to the BBC. The history and geography teacher displayed the caricatures for the class during a debate on free expression. 

Following the online release of Paty’s name, a radicalized Chechen refugee, ​​Abdoullakh Anzorov, beheaded the teacher and was later shot and killed by French police, AP News reported. 

“One of our compatriots was assassinated today because he taught. He taught his students about freedom of expression, freedom to believe or not believe. It was a cowardly attack. He was the victim of a terrorist Islamist attack,” French President Emmanuel Macron stated following the attack. 

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Five of the teens were given a special suspended sentencing between two and three years, requiring them to remain in school and work, according to AP News. The sixth teen was given a six-month prison term which will be permitted to be served under house arrest monitored by an electronic bracelet, the outlet reported. (RELATED: ‘I Think We Are Going To Die’: Film Gives Glimpse Into Horrors Of October 7 Hamas Terrorist Attacks)

All of the teens acknowledged their wrongdoings in the roles they played, claiming they were unaware Paty would be executed, according to AP News. Paty’s family lawyers, however, felt the sentencing was too lenient, calling it a “bad signal” to everyone involved, the outlet reported. 

“Yes, I am emotional. I am emotional for this family, also for the memory of Samuel. A man decapitated in the street is not nothing. We are in France. This was in 2020,” Paty’s family lawyer, Virginie Le Roy, stated, according to AP News.

All of the teens’ sentences will include special educative follow-ups involving their families, AP News reported. The identities of the six teens were not disclosed due to French laws regarding minors, the outlet confirmed.