Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud
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Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud was born on 19 September 1977 in the region of Timbuktu, Mali. He belongs to the Tuareg tribe Kel Ansar.
In 2012, Timbuktu came under the control of jihadists from al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and the Ansar Eddine. The groups were waging an insurgency against the Malian government since 2012 and introduced an extreme interpretation of the sharia law.
Al Hassan allegedly became a member of the Ansar Eddine. He reportedly became de facto the chief of the Islamic police in Timbuktu and held the position between the beginning of April 2012 and 17 January 2013. Al Hassan reportedly took part in the work of the Islamic court of the Ansar Eddine militia and the execution of its decisions.
Al Hassan allegedly participated in the destruction of ancient mausoleums of Muslim saints in Timbuktu through Islamic police forces. He is also suspected of having taken part in the enforcement of a radical sharia policy of forced marriages. This policy led to repeated rapes and the reduction of Fulani women and girls to sexual slavery.
Al Hassan fled Timbuktu in January 2013 after the intervention of French forces and the Malian army in the region.
Al Hassan was arrested in 2017 by French troops.
On 20 March 2018, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked the Court to issue an arrest warrant for Al Hassan on the basis of sufficient evidence that he may be criminally liable for playing “a prominent role” in the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity against the civilian population in Timbuktu. An arrest warrant was issued under seal on 27 March 2018 by the ICC. Following cooperation between the Malian and the Dutch authorities, Al Hassan was handed over to the Court on 31 March 2018.
On 4 April 2018, Al Hassan made his initial appearance before the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber. He currently faces charges of rape and sexual slavery, violence to persons and outrages upon personal dignity, intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion and historic monuments, and passing sentences without previous pronouncement by a regularly constituted court as war crimes; and torture, rape and sexual slavery, persecution of the inhabitants of Timbuktu on religious and gender grounds, as well as other inhumane acts as crimes against humanity.
A hearing has been provisionally scheduled for 24 September 2018 for the purpose of confirming the charges against Al Hassan and to determine whether or not the case can proceed to trial.
The case against Al Hassan is the second ICC case from the situation in Mali, following the conviction in 2017 of Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi for the war crime of destruction of religious sites in Timbuktu in 2012. Should the case against Al Hassan proceed to trial, it will be the first ICC case to deal with persecution on gender grounds.