Samuel Paty, the 47-year old history teacher who was beheaded in a Parisian suburb last week, will posthumously receive France's highest award, the "Legion d'Honneur".
Education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer made the announcement during an interview with BFM TV on Tuesday morning.
Paty was murdered outside his school on Friday in broad daylight. It came after he showed his pupils the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad controversially featured in the French satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo.
The killer, identified as 18-year-old Abdoulakh A, was subsequently shot dead by the police. Police said the suspect was born in Moscow and was of Chechen origin, but had been granted a 10-year residency in France as a refugee in March. He was armed with a knife and an airsoft gun, which fires plastic pellets.
The authorities investigating the killing have so far arrested 15 people. Among those in custody are four school students and four of the attacker’s family members, according to BBC News. The police also carried out some 40 raids on the homes of suspected radicals on Monday.
The killing of the teacher drew widespread condemnation from different quarters, as well as rallies in solidarity with the victim. The editors of Charlie Hebdo themselves tweeted: “Charlie Hebdo expresses its sense of horror and revolt after a teacher in the line of duty was murdered by a religious fanatic. We express our deepest support to his family, loved ones and all the teachers.”
A national ceremony in honor of Paty will be held at Paris' Sorbonne university on Wednesday.
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