First hearings held in the Hague over alleged cultural heritage war crimes

01 Oct 2015 8:50 AM | Anonymous

First hearings held in the Hague over alleged cultural heritage war crimes

Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi appeared at the International Criminal Court this week in connection to 2012 attacks on Timbuktu

by Victoria Stapley-Brown  |  30 September 2015

Last night at a symposium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on saving endangered heritage in Iraq and Syria, Unesco’s director-general Irina Bokova brought attention to a significant “first” in the fight against cultural destruction, unfolding this week at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.  

The alleged Islamic militant Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi is the first person to be charged with war crimes related to the destruction of cultural heritage under the Rome Statute, which went into effect in 2002. After the ICC issued a warrant for his arrest, he was extradited by Niger and turned over to the custody of the court on Saturday, 27 September. According to a statement released that day by Fatou Bensouda, the prosecutor of the ICC, he is accused of “intentionally directing attacks” in 2012 on ten religious and historic monuments in the Unesco World Heritage city of Timbuktu, Mali.

http://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/archeology/159717/

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