A young man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for threatening to kill a teacher “like Samuel Paty”, in reference to the teacher decapitated in October in Val d’Oise. He is sadly one of many.
According to FranceInfo, 187 cases have been opened in France for similar “threats”, “provocation to commit violent infractions”, or “supporting terrorism”, since the death of French teacher Samuel Paty.
In this case, the young man who is 19 years old, with no previous criminal record, was sentenced for threatening a teacher with death on social media, the prosecutor of Nice announced on Saturday, according to French daily Le Figaro.
In his fast-tracked court appearance, on Friday 27 November, the defendant defended himself, according to an account of the hearing published by the daily Nice-Matin, explaining that it had been a “joke”, intended only to show off in front of another young high school student.
This young man, who has completed school, had gotten wind on social media of an incident that had happened in one of the teacher’s classes. The latter, who has been a teacher for some 30 years, had asked for an explanation from certain pupils who were suspected of cheating during a practice baccalaureate test.
The defendant then succeeded in obtaining the private account address of the teacher on other social media, in order to be able to threaten him with a similar death to that of Samuel Paty, the French teacher who was beheaded after showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to his pupils during a course on freedom of expression.
“My client has lived through two very difficult weeks,” explains Julien Darras, lawyer for the civil part of the case, representing the victim. This teacher was forced to stop his courses and remove his name from his mailbox, while the police were busy identifying the author of the threats.
The defendant, with a clean record, faces up to seven years of imprisonment for public support of terrorist acts by electronic means and making a death threat. He has ten days to file an appeal of this judgment accompanied by an immediate custody warrant.
Since the jihadist attack on a Nice church on October 29, more than twenty cases for verbally supporting terrorism have been investigated by the prosecutor’s office of Nice, stated Xavier Bonhomme, the national prosecutor. One man has already been sentenced to 18 months in prison for threatening people in the proximity of this religious edifice, the magistrate added.
Since the murder of Professor Samuel Paty on October 16, acts of verbally supporting terrorism and death threats have multiplied. A resident of Roubaix, 21 years of age, a convert to Islam, was sentenced on November 19 in Lille to 18 months in prison, including 12 months probationary suspension, for supporting terrorism on social media.
In Var, at the end of October, another young man was sentenced to 18 months in prison for similar acts of supporting terrorism.
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