Several hundred gathered at the Muslim cemetery in Bobigny, north of Paris, for the funeral of Ahmed Merabet, who had been assigned to protect the satirical weekly’s staff and was shot dead at the age of 41 as he lay wounded on the pavement outside their
“I’ve lost a kind, respectful, helpful friend,” his partner of 15 years, Yamina Zenasni, told the AFP news agency. “He’s a hero. People shouldn’t be killed, not more of that!”
Merabet’s family came to France from Algeria in 1955.
His father died 20 years ago and he hade five brothers and sisters.
At a ceremony to honour Merabet and Franck Brinsolaro and Clarissa Jean-Philippe, the other two police officers killed by Chérif and Saïd Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly, Hollande declared that they “died so that we can live free”.
Merabet “knew better than anyone that radical Islamism bears no relation to Islam and that radical Islam kills Muslims”, he commented.
He awarded the three France’s highest honour, the Légion d’Honneur.