A 22-year-old man was charged by France authorities Sunday for "liking" a photograph of a teacher who was the victim of a hate crime. The man is accused of "glorifying terrorism."
The photo showed the severed head of French teacher Samuel Paty, who was attacked and killed while walking on a street. Paty was attacked after he had shown a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed during a free-speech class he taught. In Islam, depicting or drawing Mohammed is considered sacrilegious and a sin punishable by death.
Paty's killer was an 18-year-old Chechen refugee who had grown up in France. He was shot dead by police after he resisted arrest. He had uploaded several pictures of his victim on social media.
The man charged Sunday was also from Chechnya but lived in Blois in Centre-Val de Loire, France. According to public prosecutors, the man has been under surveillance for his online behavior. The man reportedly endorsed the killing of those working at satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo - among the first to publish cartoons depicting Mohammed.
Authorities reportedly found knives and other weapons at the man's home. Authorities said the man denied he had been radicalized or that he intended to hurt people.
French authorities launched campaigns to mitigate the spread of radical Islamic activity. Police and other agencies have raided the homes and establishments of individuals and organizations suspected of supporting terror.
France has a firm stance on freedom of expression. Cartoon depictions of the prophet have been seen as a symbol of free speech in the country after the attack on Charlie Hebdo's offices. In 2015, two armed men forced their way into the office and killed 12 people.