ICC: Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud surrendered to the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Timbuktu

Heritage Stewardship

Editor’s Note:
We recognize the continuing important work of the ICC in bringing to justice individuals charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity, and destruction of cultural heritage as below.

31 March 2018
Situation in Mali: Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud surrendered to the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Timbuktu
Today, 31 March 2018, Mr Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud (“Mr Al Hassan”) was surrendered to the International Criminal Court (“ICC”, “Court”) by the Malian authorities and arrived at the Court’s detention centre in the Netherlands. Mr Al Hassan is suspected, according to a warrant of arrest issued by Pre Trial Chamber I of the ICC on 27 March 2018, of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in 2012 and 2013 in Timbuktu, Mali…

According to the arrest warrant, Mr Al Hassan, a Malian national born on 19 September 1977 in the community of Hangabera, about 10 kilometres north of Goundam in the region of Timbuktu, Mali, and belonging to the Tuareg/Tamasheq tribe Kel Ansar, was a member of Ansar Eddine and de facto chief of Islamic police. He is also alleged to have been involved in the work of the Islamic court in Timbuktu and to have participated in executing its decisions. Mr Al Hassan is further alleged to have taken part in the destruction of the mausoleums of Muslim saints in Timbuktu using Islamic police forces in the field, and to have participated in the policy of forced marriages which victimized the female inhabitants of Timbuktu and led to repeated rapes and the sexual enslavement of women and girls…

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30 March 2018
Statement of ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, following the arrest and transfer of Mr Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud, a suspect in the Mali situation: “We remain steadfast in the pursuit of our mandate under the Rome Statute”
The arrest and transfer of the suspect, Mr Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud (“Al Hassan”) to the custody of the ICC sends a strong message to all those, wherever they are, who commit crimes which shock the conscience of humanity that my Office remains steadfast in the pursuit of its mandate under the Rome Statute.

I hope that it equally signals to Mali our commitment and resolve to do right by that mandate, and what we can to address the untold suffering inflicted upon the Malian population and what they hold dear as a people.

Today’s development follows the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber I issued under-seal on 27 March 2018, rendered public on 31 March 2018, after its independent assessment of my application for a warrant of arrest against Mr Al Hassan filed on 20 March 2018.

On the basis of the evidence gathered, my Office alleges that Mr Al Hassan committed crimes against humanity and war crimes in Timbuktu, Mali, between April 2012 and January 2013. The charges against him are representative of the criminality and resulting victimization of the population during this period.

More specifically, Mr Al Hassan is allegedly responsible for the crimes against humanity of persecution on both religious and gender grounds; rape and sexual slavery committed in the context of forced marriages; torture and other inhuman acts intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

Mr Al Hassan is also alleged to bear responsibility for the war crimes of cruel treatment and torture; outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment; rape and sexual slavery; attacks intentionally directed against buildings dedicated to religion and historic monuments, and the passing of sentences without previous judgement pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all judicial guarantees which are generally recognized as indispensable…