Samuel Paty was a French middle-school teacher at Collège Bois-d'Aulne in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, France, a suburb 30 km (20 miles) north-west of central Paris, who was killed and beheaded by Abdoullakh Abouyedovich Anzorov, an 18-year-old Muslim, Russian refugee of Chechen origin.
Date of birth
He was born in 1973, however his date of birth is not yet known.
Date of death
He was killed on 16 October, 2020.
To be updated.
He was married, and the father of a five-year-old boy.
Occupation & Controversy
Samuel Paty was a French middle-school teacher at Collège Bois-d'Aulne in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, France, a suburb 30 km (20 miles) north-west of central Paris. Paty taught a moral and civic education course in early October 2020 on freedom of expression, in accord with the French national curriculum. During his class he showed some of his teenage students a caricature of Muhammad from the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo during a class discussion about freedom of speech. Before showing the caricature, Paty had invited Muslim students to leave the classroom if they wished. According to one student, he had previously shown these cartoons as part of the discussion every year since the Charlie Hebdo shooting in 2015.
The class led to controversy. Accounts differed on precisely what was presented in the classroom. For many Muslims, any depiction of Muhammad is blasphemous. A Muslim father of a teenage student claimed on YouTube and Facebook that Paty had displayed an image of Muhammad nude; the father named Paty, and gave the school's address. He encouraged other parents to join him in action and mobilise against the teacher, whom he described as a thug.
The father also filed a complaint with the school, and encouraged people to protest at the school. A meeting was held between the headteacher, the teacher, and an official from the education authority. The father additionally filed a legal complaint about Paty's lesson, leading the teacher to go to the local police station accompanied by the principal. Paty told investigators he could not understand the complaint because the father's daughter was not in class on the day Paty showed the cartoon.
A week and a half after Paty's freedom-of-speech class, on 16 October 2020, Anzorov waited outside Paty's school's gates, and asked a number of students to point out the teacher. He then followed Paty as he left the school. Using a 30-cm (12-inches) knife, Anzorov killed Paty and beheaded him in a street near the school where Paty taught, at approximately 5 pm. In addition to decapitating Paty, Anzorov inflicted a number of wounds to his head, abdomen, and upper limbs. Witnesses told police they heard the killer shout "Allahu Akbar" during the attack.
Minutes after the murder, the pseudonym @Tchetchene 270, identified by terrorism prosecutor Jean-FrancoisnRicard as belonging to Abdullakh Anzorov, posted on Twitter an image of Paty's severed head. The photo was posted with the message: "In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful,... to Macron, leader of the infidels, l executed one of your hellhounds who dared to belittle Muhammad, calm his fellow human beings before a harsh punishment is inflicted on you."
Minutes later, Anzorov was confronted by police about 600 metres (660 yards) from the scene in Éragny, near Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, and the police tried to arrest him. Anzorov shot at the police with an air rifle and tried to stab them with a knife. The police in response shot him nine times, killing him. On Anzorov's phone they found a text claiming responsibility, and a photograph of Paty's body.
Eleven people were later taken into custody for investigation. They included Anzorov's grandparents, parents, and 17-year-old brother. Among the people arrested was an Islamist militant known to French anti-terrorism police.
The perpetrator, Abdoullakh Abouyedovich Anzorov, was an 18-year-old Russian immigrant of Chechen origin, born in Moscow. Chechnya is a Muslim-majority republic and federal subject located in the North Caucasus.
Anzorov had come to France with refugee status 12 years earlier as a six-year-old boy. He lived in the Madeleine district of the Normandy town of Évreux, about 100 km (62 miles) from the murder scene, and had no apparent connection with the teacher or the school.
The Anzorov family came from the village of Shalazhi in Chechnya. Abdoullakh's father, Abuezid, moved first to Moscow, and then to Paris. Anzorov's half-sister joined ISIS in Syria in 2014. In March 2020, the family had received refugee status and 10-year residency cards in France. Abdoullakh was not noticed by security agencies, though he had previously been in courts on minor misdemeanour charges.