On 17th August 2017, the International Criminal Court issued a Reparations Order to Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi (pictured), a Malian Islamist, who attacked religious and historic buildings in Timbuktu during 2012. The case is viewed as significant as it is the first ICC case addressing the destruction of monuments as a war crime.
Trial Chamber VIII concluded that Mr. Al Mahdi is liable for 2.7 million euros in expenses for individual and collective reparations to the Timbuktu community.
A statement released by the ICC stated that “The Chamber highlighted the importance of cultural heritage and stressed that, because of their purpose and symbolism, most cultural property and cultural heritage are unique and of sentimental value.” It went on to say that, “their destruction thus carries a message of terror and helplessness.”
The Chamber specifically ordered individual reparations for those whose livelihoods exclusively depended upon the attacked buildings and those whose ancestors’ burial sites were damaged. The ICC stated that “Reparations may assist in promoting reconciliation between the victims of the crime, the affected communities and the convicted person.”
The Reparations Order is due on 16th February 2018.
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Click below to read the official ICC statement:
Image source: justicehub.org
Text sources: www.coalitionfortheicc.org, www.un.org – 17th August 2017