A French schoolgirl has admitted to telling lies about a teacher who was beheaded after an online hate campaign kickstarted by her comments.
The unidentified girl had claimed that high school teacher Samuel Paty showed an image depicting the Prophet Mohammed during a lesson on free speech.
She said that Paty had asked Muslim pupils to leave the class before he showed the image, which had appeared in the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
On Monday, the girl’s lawyer revealed that his client, 13, had confirmed that she did not actually attend the class and was off sick at the time.
‘She lied because she felt trapped in a spiral because her classmates had asked her to be a spokesperson,’ lawyer Mbeko Tabula said.
After the girl, who reportedly had a history of behavioural problems, made her initial claims about the class, her father filed a legal complaint and posted a video online in early October.
The video, which detailed the allegations against Paty, provoked outrage on social media, including death threats against the teacher.