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The Destruction of Cultural Property in Timbuktu: Challenging the ICC War Crime Paradigm
Higgins, Noelle; Badar, Mohamed Elewa
Cultural property has been destroyed, looted and trafficked throughout history, particularly during conflict situations.2 In many instances, the property that is destroyed belongs to, and / or represents, minority groups and its destruction impacts significantly on minority culture. ISIS, and related jihadist groups, have, in recent times, actively engaged in the deliberate destruction of cultural property in numerous States, including Iraq, Syria, and Mali. This has been described as ‘cultural cleansing’ by the Director-General of UNESCO,3 as jihadist groups aim to eradicate all signs of ‘other’ cultures within its newly formed State. The destruction of cultural property is now a strategy of war, with the objective being to eliminate cultural diversity and pluralism, ‘erase all sources of belonging and identity, and destroy the fabric of society.’4 The International Criminal Court (ICC) recently (2016) heard the case of Prosecutor v Al Mahdi, which focused specifically on the destruction of cultural property in Mali during a non-international armed conflict. The defendant was charged, under Article 8 of the ICC Statute, with the war crime of directing attacks against cultural property.5 Mr Al Mahdi, a member of the fundamentalist Islamic group, Ansar Dine, had been in charge of the Hisbah, the morality brigade set up in Timbuktu. One of his roles was to oversee the destruction of a number of religious monuments and mausoleums in the city...
Keyword(s): ICC War Crime Paradigm; Timbuktu; Law
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Institution: Maynooth University
Citation(s): Higgins, Noelle and Badar, Mohamed Elewa (2017) The Destruction of Cultural Property in Timbuktu: Challenging the ICC War Crime Paradigm. Europa ethnica, 74 (3/4). pp. 99-105. ISSN 0014-2492
Publisher(s): Facultas Verlags- und Buchhandels AG
File Format(s): other
Related Link(s):
First Indexed: 2020-04-02 06:07:40 Last Updated: 2020-04-02 06:07:40