Funeral Ceremonies Held For Seven Victims Of Paris Attacks
January 13, 2015
Funeral ceremonies have been held for seven of the 17 victims of last week's attacks in Paris, as France said it was 'at war' with terrorism.
In Paris on January 13, President Francois Hollande honored three police officers who were shot dead last week by Islamist gunmen, saying France 'will never yield' in the face of attacks.
French lawmakers, meanwhile, overwhelmingly approved the continuation of air strikes against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq and Syria after Prime Minister Manuel Valls told legislators 'we are faced with a war against terrorism,' urging tighter surveillance and other antiterrorism measures.
Hollande, who joined relatives of the slain officers along with hundreds of police at the funeral ceremony, posthumously awarded France's top honor, the Legion of Honor, to the three officers -- Franck Brinsolaro, Ahmed Merabet, and Clarissa Jean-Philippe.
Their coffins were draped in the French flag.
Hollande said during the ceremony that the officers 'died so that we may live in freedom.'
Two officers, Brinsolaro and Merabet, were killed during a January 7 attack on the office of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
French authorities say Al-Qaeda-linked brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi killed the officers along with nine Charlie Hebdo journalists and a maintenance worker in an apparent revenge attack for the weekly's cartoons mocking Islam.
The two brothers were subsequently gunned down by police on January 9 on the outskirts of Paris.
French officials say policewoman Jean-Philippe was shot dead on January 8 by Amedy Coulibaly, an Islamist gunman who had connections to the Kouachi brothers.
Meanwhile, the four Jewish victims of Coulibaly's January 9 attack on a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris were buried in Jerusalem on January 13 after a funeral ceremony attended by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, religious representatives, and French Environment Minister Segolene Royal.
French authorities say Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, Francois-Michel Saada, and Phillipe Braham were shot dead by Coulibaly at the market where he seized several hostages before he was killed by police.
Netanyahu told mourners that world leaders were 'starting to understand that this terror committed by extremist Islam represents a clear and present threat to peace in the world in which we live.'
Royal, speaking on behalf of President Hollande, announced that the four victims had each been named as a chevalier in the French Legion of Honor.
On January 13, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls urged tighter surveillance and other antiterrorism measures, saying France was 'at war with terrorism and jihadism.'
In a speech during a special session of parliament to honor the 17 victims of last week's attacks, Valls said that 'serious and very high risks remain' and warned the French not to let down their guard.
France has Europe's largest Muslim and Jewish populations.
Last week's attacks prompted a historic outpouring of unity that saw 3.7 million people rally across the country on January 11.
Meanwhile, German President Joachim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel joined thousands of people at a January 13 unity rally at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate that was organized by Muslim groups.
Gauck told the rally, which ended with all participants linking arms, 'If terrorists want to drive us apart, they have achieved the opposite. We are all Germany.'
The rally was also aimed at sending a rebuke to growing German anti-Islamic protests that have been taking place weekly since October in the eastern city of Dresden.
On January 12, some 25,000 people took part in a rally there organized by a right-wing populist group called Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West (Pegida).
Merkel and Gauck have spoken out against Pegida, accusing it of seeking to divide German society and capitalize on people's fears.
On January 13, Merkel told a conference in Berlin that Germany 'must be against anything which questions our values and constitutional values.'
She said 'intolerance and violence' must be fought against with all constitutional means available.
Protests against Pegida also have been gaining momentum, with 35,000 people turning out on January 10 in Dresden against Pegida and rallies against the right-wing movement outnumbering Pegida marches in most cities across Germany on January 12.
Germany is home to some 4 million Muslims -- about 5 percent of the population of 80 million.
In Paris, a defiant new cover of Charlie Hebdo has been released for the first new edition since the attack on the publication.
The cover features a caricature of a goggle-eyed, frowning Muhammad in a turban, shedding a single large tear and holding a sign that says, 'Je suis Charlie.'
The headline reads, 'All is forgiven.'
The magazine announced it would print 3 million copies of this week's edition rather than the usual 60,000, and it is expected to be translated into several languages.
A lawyer for Charlie Hebdo, Richard Malka, told French radio the issue would 'obviously' lampoon the Prophet Muhammad, among other figures, to show that staff will 'cede nothing' to extremists seeking to silence them.
With reporting by Reuters, BBC, dpa, and AFP
Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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