Paris: Tens of thousands of people rallied in Paris and cities across France in solidarity with a teacher beheaded for showing pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
Demonstrators on the Place de la Republique held aloft posters declaring: “No to totalitarianism of thought” and “I am a teacher” in memory of murdered colleague Samuel Paty.
“You do not scare us. We are not afraid. You will not divide us. We are France!” tweeted Prime Minister Jean Castex, who joined the Paris demonstration.
Samuel Paty was murdered on his way home from the school where he taught in a suburb northwest of Paris on Oct 16 afternoon.
A photo of the teacher and a message confessing to his murder was found on the mobile phone of his killer, 18-year-old Chechen Abdullakh Anzorov, who was shot dead by police.
French police have arrested nine people over the beheading of the teacher, a judicial source said.
The attack came as a trial is in progress over the January 2015 massacre at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, which had published caricatures of the prophet Mohammed that unleashed a wave of anger across the Islamic world.
The magazine republished the cartoons in the run-up to the trial in September and last month a young Pakistani man wounded two people with a meat cleaver outside its former offices.