Jihadist awaits sen­tenc­ing for at­tack on tombs

The Myanmar Times - - World -

WAR crimes judges will de­liver a his­toric judge­ment to­mor­row against a Malian jihadist who ad­mit­ted at­tack­ing Tim­buktu’s fa­bled shrines, in a case which could send a strong mes­sage against cul­tural de­struc­tion.

Around the globe, 55 places are on UN­ESCO’s list of en­dan­gered sites and fears are grow­ing for other mon­u­ments in Iraq and Syria.

Pro­tec­tion of such trea­sures “is about more than shield­ing stones and build­ings – it is a part of our ef­fort to de­fend hu­man rights and save peo­ple’s lives”, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said on pro­tect­ing cul­tural her­itage.

He of­fered the hope that the case of Ah­mad al-Faqi al-Mahdi be­fore the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court could “help end im­punity”.

“Com­bat­ants that at­tack cul­tural trea­sures want to dam­age more than arte­facts – they aim to tear at the fab­ric of so­ci­eties,” Mr Ban added. –

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