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At the Charlie trial, the endless mourning of the relatives of Ahmed Merabet

(Paris) “I would have liked never to see this video”: at the trial of the January attacks 2015, relatives of ‘Ahmed Merabet testified Monday of their anger and their sorrow five years after the assassination of the policeman, whose filmed execution went around the world.

Valentin BONTEMPS

France Media Agency

Not a day, not a night, without her thinking back to the terrifying images of the scene. “I am obsessed with it,” said Ahmed Merabet’s older sister, Nabiha, at the helm of the Paris Special Assize Court.

“This tragedy has broken our family […] We are trying to mourn, move on. But every year at the same time, it’s the same thing: we watch this video again and we hear his voice “, continues this health executive, white pants and black tunic.

On January 7 40, Ahmed Merabet, peacekeeper of 40 years old, was targeted by the Kouachi brothers as he tried to chase them on Boulevard Richard Lenoir, a few minutes after the bloody attack on Charlie Hebdo .

Lying on the ground after being hit by a first shot, he had been put in play by the younger Kouachi, Chérif, arrived at his height. “It’s okay, boss,” he said to the terrorist, hands up, palms open. The latter had coldly shot him in the head.

“My brother was French, a practicing Muslim. He defended the values ​​of the Republic and he was cowardly assassinated while doing his duty, “Nabiha Merabet recalled Monday,” disgusted “by the cowardice of the Kouachi brothers but also by the broadcast of the video of the assassination.

” It’s inhumane “

These images, filmed by a local resident, were posted on social networks a few minutes after the attack, before being withdrawn. But 24-hour news channels picked up on them, showing the general public the brutality of the execution.

“My mother saw her son being murdered,” said Ahmed Merabet’s sister, who spoke of an “explosion”.

“How can you broadcast a horror video like that? “, Adds the forty-something, angry with” the chains which broadcast it and rebroadcast it every year “.

For the other sisters of the victim, the shock was also unbearable.

“This video will never be erased from my memory,” Fouzia confides in a voice full of emotion. “Since I saw this video, I can’t stand hearing the word ‘chef’,” adds Mariam, the youngest of the siblings.

On the screen at the back of the room, a giant image of Ahmed Merabet in a white outfit is projected. “It was the day of his graduation: he was proud to become a peacekeeper,” Nabiha Merabet recalls in tears of her brother’s qualities.

The policeman, originally from Livry-Gargan in Seine-Saint-Denis, had become since his father’s death the “pillar of the house”, always taking care of “others”, describes his entourage. Two days before the attack, he had just been admitted to the competitive examination for a judicial police officer.

“Stand in front of you” 2020

“Ahmed had a lot of honor, he’s someone who wore the colors of his profession high”, assures one of his colleagues, black T-shirt and short hair, invited by the court to tell the dramatic circumstances of his assassination.

Like other police officers called to testify, this crew chief said he was “haunted” by the images of the attack and tormented by “regrets”. “I wish I could have stopped the progress of the Kouachi brothers. I’m really sorry I couldn’t have done more, ”he sighs.

Periods of depression, recurring fears … For the family of Ahmed Merabet, it is also difficult to silence memories of January 7.

“Some days I can live with it. Others, I feel like it happened the day before and the pain is insurmountable, ”says one of the sisters.

The police officer’s companion, Morgane, for her part, assures that there is a lack of words to transcribe “her emotions”. “The whole world remembers him as a downed man. But I refuse, “says the young woman, glasses and hair down.

A short silence is made in the audience, then she continues for the attention of the accused, tried for their logistical support to the perpetrators of the attacks: “I lost everything, my life as a woman, my hopes, but I am standing in front of you. I am standing and you will not have my hatred or my forgiveness. ”

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