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French High School Newspaper Editor Receives Death Threats

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The editor of a high school newspaper in France received death threats over an issue commemorating the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January.

Louis, aged 17, published an issue of the school’s paper entitled ‘Je Suis Charlie’ in the wake of the attacks that killed 17 people in January. It included drawings, op-eds and poetry but no cartoons of the founder of Islam, Muhammed.

Louis told AFP: “It was a tribute to the 17 victims without discrimination — for Jews, journalists, police officers.”

As a result, he received seven death threat letters, including two containing bullets and some containing swastikas. Some were sent to his house and others to his school locker.

Teachers and students at the school, in the Paris suburb of Saint-Maur-des-Fosses, rallied on Thursday in support of Louis. The director of Charlie Hebdo said “someone who receives threats like this should be protected.”

According to his mother, Louis now lives in fear, sleeping only a few hours a night and carrying tear gas canisters with him at all times.

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

Law-enforcement agencies are currently investigating the death threats and are carrying out a biological analysis of the letters. Authorities have said that “if needed” Louis will receive special police protection. 

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David Harris

David Harris is the editor in chief of Clarion Project.

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