Nice: Youth sentenced to 18 months in prison for threatening to kill a teacher “like Samuel Paty”
A young man of 19, with no record, sentenced for threatening a teacher with death on social media
by Le Figaro with AFP
November 27, 2020
A young man of 19 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, the prosecutor of Nice reported Saturday.
Judged in an immediate appearance, Friday 27 November, the defendant defended himself, according to an account of the hearing published by the daily Nice-Matin, explaining that it was a “joke”, intended only to show off in front of another young high school student.
This young man, who holds a professional baccalaureate and has completed school, had gotten wind on social media of an incident that had happened in one of the teacher’s classes. The latter, a teacher for some 30 years, had asked for an explanation from certain pupils who were suspected of cheating during a “white” 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, a teacher killed by a young man 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 identifying the author of the threats.
The defendant, with a clean record, faced 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 attack that struck the faithful of a Nice church on October29, more than twenty cases for verbally supporting terrorism have been conducted by the prosecutor’s office of Nice, stated Xavier Bonhomme, the national prosecutor. One man had 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 with a committal warrant for similar acts of supporting terrorism. According to Franceinfo, 187 cases have been opened in France for “threats”, “Provocation to commit violent infractions”, or “supporting terrorism”, since the death of Samuel Paty.