Written by 18:17 World

I.C.C. Convicts Senior Jihadist Police Leader of Atrocities in Timbuktu

Judges at the International Criminal Court convicted a Malian jihadist on Wednesday for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during a nine-month occupation by terrorist groups of the ancient city of Timbuktu.

The three-member panel said that the man, Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz, a former police leader, had played a major role within the Islamist police in organizing a structure of repression designed to impose an extreme form of Shariah law on a more tolerant form of Islam, traditional in Timbuktu, an intellectual and cultural center.

The presiding judge, Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua, said that Mr. Al Hassan “has been found guilty by majority decision of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including torture, cruel treatment and outrages upon personal dignity” for public floggings.

Mr. Al Hassan, 46, was also convicted of religious persecution and participating in bogus trials at an Islamist court.

Prosecutors had insisted that he was complicit in crimes against women, who were raped and turned into sexual slaves by having to marry jihadist fighters. But the judges said that while several women had testified that they had been raped by members of the jihadist police while under arrest on charges of wearing improper dress or for having sex outside marriage, and other women were forced into marriage, Mr. Al Hassan had not been involved or criminally responsible in such cases.

Mr. Al Hassan was also acquitted of charges that he had participated in the destruction of mausoleums of Muslim saints, who were locally venerated. Jihadists called their worship heretical.


Last modified: 27 June 2024