• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

French cops grill 8-year-old for 'glorifying terror'

AFP · 29 Jan 2015, 08:18

Published: 29 Jan 2015 08:18 GMT+01:00

An eight-year-old boy in France was questioned by police for half an hour Wednesday after he allegedly made comments in school in praise of terrorists, police said.

The child triggered concern when he refused to take part in a minute's silence at his school in the southern city of Nice after Islamist gunmen shot dead 12 people at the Paris offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on January 7, according to Marcel Authier, in charge of the region's public security.

The boy's teacher said the child also expressed "solidarity" with the gunmen.

"In the current context, the principal of the school decided to report to police what had happened," said Authier, who stressed no complaint had been filed against the boy.

"We summoned the child and his father to try and comprehend how an eight-year-old boy could hold such radical ideas," he added.

"Obviously, the child doesn't understand what he's saying."

The boy's lawyer Sefen Guez Guez was not immediately available for comment but on his Twitter feed (@IbnSalah) he wrote that the child admitted to police saying the words: "I am with the terrorists".

Yet when police asked what the word "terrorism" meant, he replied: "I don't know", according to the tweet.

"Father and son are deeply shocked by their treatment which illustrates the collective hysteria that has engulfed France since early January," said the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) in a statement.

The story prompted a public reaction and it wasn't long before #Ahmed8ans (Ahmed eight-years-old) was trending on Twitter.

While some right-wing politicians have backed the school’s reaction, civil liberties groups have blasted the the courts by handing out jail sentences to those accused of "glorifying terrorism".

Agnes Tricoire, from the Human Rights League (Ligue des droits de l’homme) tells The Local why the school failed to do its job and why France is in danger of giving the terrorists exactly what they aimed for.

“By handing over the case of the eight-year-old boy to police, the school reneged on its job," she said.

Story continues below…

"When it comes to a boy that young it is up to the school and the teachers to find out what he said and explain to him why these words are not allowed. It’s about teaching him, not about punishing him. This is not a case for the police, they have other things to do.

“I think most teachers would know that this is their job, but there are clearly some who have lost their common sense and have been affected by the current climate in France, which has become very repressive," Tricoire added.

“The terrorists wanted to attack our freedoms so we cannot give them what they wanted.

“We can understand sending people to prison for crimes of violence but not for expression. The real people they must target are the activists trying to encourage others to carry out attacks."

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Opinion - Brexit
Brexit: Brussels should have stood up for itself more
Photo: AFP

Why didn't Brussels join the scrap instead of allowing itself to be bashed up by the British media, argues France based author Stephen Clarke, who knows a thing or two about the EU.

Good news for renters: New caps to hit Paris region
Sunset over Val de Marne to the southeast of Paris. Photo: Gabriel de Castelaze/Flickr

France's rental cap laws will soon be rolled out across the greater Paris region.

'Giving in to fear': Anger as Paris gay pride cut back
Gay Pride Paris 2015. Photo: AFP

The annual Paris gay pride parade on Saturday will be half as long as usual due to security concerns, but members of the LGBT community say this is just giving in to fears.

Tour de France: 23,000 police and special ops join the ride
Photo: AFP

Not to mention the elite special-ops forces who will also be on duty.

What France says will be the impact of Brexit
Photo: Oli Bac/Flickr

The French president and his government have been talking about the impact of Brexit in several areas. Here's what they had to say.

Hollande says Brexit won't change Channel migrant deal
The Calais Jungle. Photo: AFP

President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday that the Brexit vote won't change border agreements between France and Britain.

Frenchman sentenced to jail time for burying dog alive
Photo: Pedro Dinis/Facebook

A man who buried his disabled dog alive, sparking social media fury in France, has been handed a jail sentence.

Le Thought du Jour
Post-Brexit: Could it benefit France to see the UK suffer?
Will Hollande benefit from the mess left behind by Cameron. Photo: AFP

The referendum result may have boosted Marine Le Pen and the growing anti-EU movement in France, but what has happened since may have taken the wind out their sails.

France 'probes new death threats' against Charlie Hebdo

A special French police unit has launched investigations after Charlie Hebdo magazine was subject to new death threats, according to reports in France.

Paris commuters face summer of transport headaches
Photo: AFP

Here are the train lines to avoid this summer if you're in Paris.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Paris to honour Ireland's two sets of 'wonderful' fans
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
When France 'ignored' the result of an EU referendum
New app aims to rid Paris pavements of dog poo
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
No more plastic bags! See what changes in France from July 2016
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Mixed reaction from the French as UK votes for Brexit
National
How Brexit could now scupper that dream move to France
Brexit limbo: What happens next for Brits in France?
Gallery
Ten reasons why you should think about becoming French
Analysis & Opinion
Brexit: Life for Brits in France 'will get more complicated'
Culture
20 English words that 'should be banished' from French
National
Best Briehaviour: A guide to French cheese etiquette
Features
And the best city in France for expats to live in is...?
Society
Forget bikes, Paris is set to roll out scooter rentals
National
'We fear for our safety': French police feel the strain
Lifestyle
Why Rennes (and not Paris) is the best city in France for expats to live
National
Why are the French losing appetite for baguettes?
Lifestyle
Naturism booms in France as young eager to ditch clothes
Lifestyle
Is working life better in London or Paris?
National
Dear Americans: Please come to Paris
National
It's official (kind of): French work fewest hours in EU
And the best football fans of Euro 2016 in France are?
National
Paris has wettest spring in 100 years and it's hitting morale
Police murders remind France of complexity of terror threat
2,762
jobs available