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A French Republican Guard holds a portrait of Samuel Paty in Paris on October 21, 2020, during a national homage to the teacher, who was beheaded for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed in his civics class © POOL/AFP/File / Francois Mori

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Man charged for ‘liking’ photo of murdered French teacher

Rennes, France, Oct 25 – A young man who “liked” a gruesome Twitter picture showing French teacher Samuel Paty after he was murdered has been charged with glorifying terrorism, French authorities said Sunday.

Paty was attacked and killed on the street for showing his students cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a class on free speech.

His killer, an 18-year-old Chechen refugee who had been living in France since he was a child, was shot dead by police. Before his death he posted a picture of the teacher’s severed head on Twitter.

The 22-year-old man charged on Sunday is also of Chechen origin, the public prosecutor in the central town of Blois, where he lives, said.

He was already on the radar of the authorities for having endorsed a massacre at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that first published the Mohammed cartoons.

Several knives and other weapons were found at his home, prosecutor Frederic Chevallier.

The man denied being radicalised, Chevallier added.

Since Paty’s murder on October 16 the French authorities have launched a clampdown on radical Islam.

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Police have carried out dozens of raids on individuals and organisations suspected of supporting or abetting extremism.

Depictions of the Prophet Mohammed are considered sacrilegious by many Muslims.

But in France, which has a long tradition of satirising religion, they are seen as symbolic of free speech.

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