Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Prison Sentence Over Smashing of Shrines in Timbuktu: 9 Years

By Marlise Simons
Description: Timbuktu (Mali); Date: 01/02/2005; Copyright: © UNESCO; Source: Francesco Bandarin
Judges at the International Criminal Court ordered a radical Islamist on Tuesday to serve nine years in prison for his role in demolishing historic Muslim shrines in Timbuktu, Mali, in the court’s first prosecution of the destruction of cultural heritage as a war crime. The judges said that Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi, a member of a jihadist group linked to Al Qaeda, had committed a war crime in the summer of 2012 when he organized the smashing of the revered shrines, which were built centuries ago above the tombs of venerated Muslim holy men and scholars. All but one of the structures were part of the Timbuktu world heritage site recognized by Unesco. [link]