Kouachi Brothers' Burials Spark Mixed Emotions Among French Residents
The remains of one Charlie Hebdo gunman has already been buried. The other is about to be laid to rest in a Paris suburb. No one is very happy about it — though some aren't outraged about it, either.
According to The Telegraph, residents of Gennevilliers, a suburb of Paris where Charlie Hebdo gunman Cherif Kouachi lived, have mixed emotions about the Islamist terrorist being buried within city limits. Some said it's the humane thing to do, while others simply acknowledged that they had no idea a terrorist attack would ever rock their working-class community.
Fatima Rahali, who lived on Cherif Kouachi's street, told The Telegraph:
We didn't know this could happen. We thought we lived in a quiet community. So it goes to show that this can happen anywhere.
Another resident, identified only as Nordeen, added to the news source:
Even though he [Cherif Kouchi] did what he did, we should show a little humanity. Let's bury him and not talk about it anymore. I saw a debate on Facebook with comments such as, 'I don't want a terrorist in my town,' but he is just a man, unfortunately, who took the wrong path.
Even the mayor of Gennevilliers has approved of Cherif Kouachi's burial. The mayor's office recently told CNN that he was obligated under the law to bury his remains.
French news source Le Parisien reports that Mayor Patrice Leclerc said in a statement on Friday that he didn't "have a choice" in the burial of Cherif Kouachi. "Like all mayors, I prefer to avoid burying a terrorist in my town, but I apply the law," Leclerc said.
Meanwhile, Said Kouachi, Cherif's brother and partner in the Charlie Hebdo attack, was reportedly buried in a discreet ceremony in Reims, France, where he once lived. According to BBC News, Said Kouachi was buried in an unmarked grave late on Friday, with no media presence and virtual anonymity.
The city of Reims released an official statement Saturday morning:
Given the risk of disturbance of the peace and in order to quickly turn the page of this tragic episode, it was decided to do the burial quickly.
Reims Mayor Arnaud Robinet said earlier in the week that he would "categorically refuse" to have Said Kouachi buried in his town. The mayor added that his grave site would become "a shrine for people to gather around or a pilgrimage site for fanatics."
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