Charlie Hebdo: Brother of killed Algerian police officer says ‘do not mix up extremists with Muslims’
The family are mourning Mr Merabet’s ‘barbaric’ death
By: Lamiat Sabin Saturday 10 January 2015
The family of a police officer who was shot dead outside the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris while he patrolled the streets urged people “not to confuse extremists with Muslims.”
In a tearful press conference, the brother of Ahmed Merabet, 42, who spoke in French on behalf of the family, said they are devastated by the “barbaric” death in the hands of terrorists from the same home country who claim to be acting in accordance with Islam.
Dressed in black, five members of the family – two men and three women – stood in a line to address the press conference with brother Malek in the middle. Mr Merabet, who is one of 17 murdered by masked gunmen in a three-day siege, is survived by his wife.
Ahmed Merabet, 42, died outside the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine Malek said that the French national, who originates from Algeria, was proud to defend the country and stood by the national principles of “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” (liberty, equality and fraternity) and he worked for the police force for eight years.
Mr Merabet was “a pillar” for the family who looked after his mother and close relatives, Malek said before he choked up with emotion and had to pause while the other male member of the group comforted him.
The brother said that murderous gunmen who took the life of his sibling should not be considered the same or be interchangeable with law-abiding Muslims around the world.
Mr Merabet was shot dead as he was patrolling the 11th arrondissement where the offices of the satirical magazine are based. Footage of his death shocked the world, with many commemorating his dedication to protecting those who chose to exercise freedom of speech, even against his religion, with the once-trending hashtag #JeSuisAhmed.