French police has arrested a man for yelling “Allah hu Akbar” during a screening of Joker at a cinema in Paris, after his actions caused panic among film-goers.
The incident took place on Sunday evening at the Grand Rex Cinema and saw the man yell the phrase, The Independent reported.
“In the middle of the film, a guy who was accompanied by another man, shouted ‘It’s political’. He repeated the sentence at least six times. At first, people laughed, then some asked him to shut up,” a witness said.
There, he got up from his chair and shouted “Allah hu Akbar.” People then got up in a panic and ran to the exits but the doors were blocked. Some were crying. A mother was looking for her daughter,” the witness added.
The man yelling “Allah hu Akbar” managed to escape the cinema after other moviegoers tried to detain him. Police later arrested him. He was detained on suspicion of “apologising for terrorism.”
By Monday evening, the detention had been lifted “following a review of behaviour,” a judicial source told Le Parisien. The 30-year-old was reportedly admitted to the psychiatric ward of the police headquarters.
“Obviously, the emergency doors were open. And there were only a few dozen spectators who panicked. Besides, the others stayed to see the film to the end,” Grand Rex management said.
The cinema’s management went on to praise “the reactiveness of spectators who, with vigil, tried to surround the individual while waiting for the police.”
Officials say that they were still hunting for the other suspects and noted that some thieves used the panic to try and steal belongings from bags during the incident.
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