The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will attempt today to obtain the right to open a trial against an alleged jihadist.
Malian Tuareg chief Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi is believed to have directed and participated in attacks against religious monuments in the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu in 2012.
The Open Society Justice Initiative NGO hopes that these procedures will be swift “as the frequency of attacks on historic and cultural monuments is increasing in Syria and elsewhere.”
these accusations involve the most serious crimes: it is the destruction of irreplaceable historical monuments and serious attacks against the dignity and identity of entire peoples
Timbuktu cultural destruction trial opens: The International Criminal Court in The Hague is hol… https://t.co/K7daDBavPG— All Archaeology (@AllArchaeology) March 1, 2016
According to the the ICC’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda; “these accusations involve the most serious crimes: it is the destruction of irreplaceable historical monuments and serious attacks against the dignity and identity of entire peoples.’‘
For some NGOs, it is unfortunate that the charges do not extend beyond what the ICC is seeking.
According to director of Amnesty International Mali, Salou D. Traoré; they believe that the charges against Ahmad Al Faqi “should have been extended to those of rape, forced marriages or torture.”
The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Ahmad Al Mahdi Al Faqi on 18 September 2015, he was subsequently transferred to the Hague eight days later before he made an initial appearance on the 30 September. He is one of the leaders of Ansar Dine, radical Islamist group linked to Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
The destruction of fourteen mausoleums of Muslim saints in Mali by jihadist group Ansar Dine in the name of the fight against “idolatry” had caused global outrage.