Funeral services were held this week at the Armenian Cathedral of Marseille for Michaël Assaturyan, a 16-year-old French-Armenian student who was murdered on Jan. 12, reported Nouvelles d’Armenie. An estimated 2,500 people gathered on Jan. 16 to march and mourn the loss of the teenager; sources put the number at as high as 4,000.
Among those present were Mayor of Marseille Jean-Claude Gaudin, along with Deputies Didier Parakian and Martine Vassel, Parliamentarian Valerie Boyer, Senators Jean-Noel Guerini and Bruno Gilles, Member of the French National Assembly Dominique Tian, and Councilman Garo Hovsepian, as well as leaders of the Armenian community—from clergy to political activists.
Assaturyan, who attended high school in Marseille, was killed on Jan. 12 just outside school grounds. The suspects are two brothers—17 and 18 years old—who attacked Assaturyan after their sister had an argument with him during a basketball game in gym class. Assaturyan was stabbed four times, cutting a main artery, revealed French police.
Both brothers surrendered to police. According to sources, the younger brother has a violent record that includes robbery and assault, for which he was imprisoned in 2013. Police also have the sister in custody, reported Nouvelles d’Armenie.
The march was in response to a call by the Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations of France (CCAF).
Marching down Marseille’s historic La Canebière in the old quarter of Marseille, mourners gathered at the Old Port around a large chalk drawing of an Armenian cross encircled with flowers, and the words, “Je suis Michaël” (“I am Michael”) above it. White roses in hand, some wore shirts that read “Misha,” short for Michaël; others held signs that read, “I am Michaël.”
Source: Armenian Weekly