• France's news in English

Pupil sent bullets after Charlie Hebdo Tribute

AFP/The Local · 22 May 2015, 08:14

Published: 22 May 2015 08:14 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The student, 17-year-old Louis, published a special edition of the paper in January after Islamists went on a killing spree on the streets of Paris that left 17 people dead and saw the capital gripped with fear for three days.

Two of them stormed the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo killing 12 people, including journalists and police officers, and sparking a global outpouring in support of free speech.

The school paper edition -- titled "Je Suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie") after the slogan that went viral following the attack -- included poems, opinion pieces and drawings.

It did not include any of the caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed published by Charlie Hebdo that had angered the Islamists.

"It was a tribute to the 17 victims without discrimination -- for Jews, journalists, police officers," Louis, whose surname was not given, told AFP.

Police have opened an inquiry into the death threats against him, including seven letters in total, two of which contained bullets.

The last one at the beginning of May "seemed like an ultimatum", Louis said.

On Thursday, students and teachers gathered at midday at the Marcellin-Berthelot high school on the outskirts of Paris to show their support for Louis, whose nerves have been shattered by the threats.

The 17-year-old's mother said she was deeply worried about the mental state of her son, who only sleeps a few hours a night, "won't go out in the street alone" and now carried two tear gas cannisters on him at all times.

"This has been going on for months," complained history teacher Pascale Morel. "We didn't say anything at first while the (police) inquiry was being carried out, but nothing concrete has been done."

A judicial source told AFP the affair was being taken very seriously and a biological analysis of the letters was being carried out.


The death threats sent to the school pupil are just the latest example of how the country and especially its youth is not exactly united post-terror attacks.

While four million people may have marched in unity following the terrorist shootings of Charlie Hebdo journalists, police officers and four Jews, the "Je Suis Charlie" slogan has actually caused division, with many young people unable to associate themselves with it.

Story continues below…

Many young people of Muslim backgrounds resented the fact the magazine had published provocative images of Mohammed and did so again in the "survivors" edition following the massacre of most of the magazine's team.

Even in the days after the attacks schools reported that pupils were refusing to respect a minute's silence to remember the victims and there were also reports of young pupils being attacked and threatened for showing support for the "Je Suis Charlie" slogan.

Almost five months on from the attacks and the divisions are still evident.


AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available