President writes to Emmanuel Macron over murder of French teacher

CLEMENS BILAN/PAP/EPA

Polish President Andrzej Duda described the terrorist attack on French school teacher Samuel Paty as a barbaric act that moved all Poles, in a letter to his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron.

Duda went on to express "solidarity with the Republic and sympathies for the family of Samuel Paty." He wrote that he had learnt "with great regret of the tragic information about the terrorist attack on French school teacher Samuel Paty." He said it was the tradition of European schools to promote respect for knowledge and the truth "to which no one should raise a hand" and praised the response of Macron and his government.

Duda expressed the conviction that "events like that in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine - despite their tragedy - against the intentions of the villains, can bring a strengthening of the community," going on to say that demonstrations in recent days in France were the best evidence of that and recognising the unity of French society over the attack. He said that was reason to believe that "radicalism will never win and France will emerge from this saddening experience unscathed."

Last Friday afternoon, Abdullah Anzorov, allegedly brutally murdered Samuel Paty, a teacher of history in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a suburb of Paris. The victim was found about 200 metres from the school building with his head cut off. In the course of the police operation, the suspect was shot and the prosecutor launched an investigation into "murder in relation to terrorist activity."

Earlier in October, Paty had shown students caricatures of the prophet Muhammad during lessons on freedom of speech, which angered many Muslim parents.