French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (L) and French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve (C) award citizenship to Lassana Bathily in Paris, France, on Jan. 20, 2015.
Christophe Ena—AP
By NBC News
January 20, 2015

A 24-year-old Malian immigrant who hid a group of hostages during a terror attack at a kosher supermarket was awarded French citizenship Tuesday in a ceremony that showcased his courage and selflessness.

Lassana Bathily, who has lived in France for about nine years and filed his citizenship papers last summer, was fast-tracked for citizenship, sparing him from the notoriously arduous process of becoming a naturalized Frenchman.

Bathily, dressed in a black suit and white shirt, walked into Tuesday’s ceremony flanked by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. He stood with his head bowed and his hands…

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