A petition to bestow citizenship on one of the security guards who stayed in Le Bataclan during the November 13th attacks has garnered more than 36,000 signatures.
Known publicly only as “Didi,” the 35-year-old Algerian was working security the night of the attacks. “They knew what was happening when they heard gunshots in the adjacent bar,” Bataclan owner Olivier Poubelle told Le Monde. “They were in the lobby and didn’t run away… they rushed inside… opened the emergency exits and yelled at everyone to get out. Then they returned to the room.”
One of the people Didi helped to escape the massacre was Thiaba Bruni, a vice president and spokesperson for Conseil Représentatif des Associations Noires de France, who has started a Change.org petition asking François Hollande to confer citizenship on the man, who came to France with his family when he was six months old.
Weeks after the days of terror that started with the Charlie Hebdo attack, Lassana Bathily, a 24-year-old Malian, was granted citizenship by Hollande for his part in saving as many as 15 lives during the hostage situation at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Porte de Vincennes.
“He could have run away upon hearing the gunfire, given that he was outside, But he chose to enter to warn spectators and lead them to the emergency exits,” the petition says, calling Didi the “forgotten hero of Le Bataclan.” Bruni goes on to say that, in a time where politicians are talking about stripping binational terrorists of their French citizenship, they should be honoring foreigners like Bathily and Didi with citizenship and, perhaps, the Legion of Honor.