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
January 20, 2015 3:08 PM EST

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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