UNESCO’s News in August: UNESCO Director-General welcomes opening of trial on the destruction of heritage in Timbuktu

August 25, 2016 - NEWS, What’s new at Association? - Post by: WfpaEdit

© UNESCO/F. Bandarin Timbuktu, Mali

UNESCO today welcomed the opening of the hearings of the case of Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for alleged war crimes and the destruction of historical monuments and buildings of religious significance, including nine mausoleums and a mosque at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Timbuktu (Mali) in 2012.

This first trial at an international tribunal for the destruction of historic monuments and buildings sends a strong message on the determination of the international community to ensure that this type of crime is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, not only in Mali but everywhere in the World. The guilty plea and the apologies of the defendant can also open a door for reconciliation and truth for the Malian people.

The trial marks a new step in the full recognition of deliberate destruction of heritage as war crimes, after decades of efforts by UNESCO and by the international community, notably since the destruction of the Oldgthened the legal basis and global awareness that no such crime should remain unpunished.

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