Wednesday, 21 January 2015

French supermarket's muslim employee who saved lives during attack granted citizenship by France

Lassana Bathily, the Mali-born Muslim employee who saved the lives of several shoppers at Kosher supermarket during the Paris attack that left 4 dead, has been granted French citizenship by France. The 24 year old guided terrified customers to safety in a supermarket chiller when terrorist Amedy Coulibaly burst into the supermarket on January 9th and killed four people. Lassana, who was in the store's underground stockroom at the time, hid many customers in a freezer. He then escaped and was able to give police valuable information about what was happening inside. He's been praised for his quick-thinking and bravery and is being called a hero. To reward him, the French government granted him citizenship during a ceremony that held today, saying his 'act of humanity has become a symbol of an Islam of peace and tolerance.'

Receiving his citizenship, Lassana said with tears in his eyes 'Tonight I'm very proud and deeply touched. I'm not a hero, I am Lassana. I'll stay true to myself. People are all equal to me and skin color isn't a matter. France is the country of human rights,' 

Some of the people he saved pictured above. Below is the story he told of what happened that day "When they ran down, I opened the door [of the freezer]. There are several people who came to me. I turned off the light, I turned off the freezer. When I turned off the cold, I put them [hostages] in, I closed the door, I told them to stay calm.' After the siege ended, Lassana said many of the customers came to shake his hand and thank him for what he did. He's lived in France since 2006 and had filed an application for French citizenship last year.

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