Thursday, June 8, 2023

Can Destroying Cultural Objects be Prosecuted as a War Crime?

On August 22 the International Criminal Court prosecuted Malian Islamic extremist, Ahmad al-Faqi al Mahdi, for a war crime. Faqs’s criminal activity, to which he pleaded guilty, was the destruction of Sufi shrines in Timbuktu, the destruction of cultural heritage.

Shortly after UNESCO pronounced the West African trading city of Timbuktu an endangered heritage site, Faqi and his cohorts destroyed the shrines. Faqi faces up to 30 years in prison.

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