ICC prosecutes Islamist militant on groundbreaking gender-based charges

Source: The Guardian

Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud accused of forcing Malian women into sexual slavery

Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud appearing at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
 Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud appearing at the international criminal court in The Hague. Photograph: Peter Dejong/AFP/Getty Images

The international criminal court in the Hague has launched a potentially groundbreaking new prosecution for the crime of persecution on the grounds of gender, seeking a lengthy jail sentence for an Islamist militant accused of forcing hundreds of women into sexual slavery.

Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud, 40, was transferred to the court’s custody earlier this month from Mali, where he had been held by local authorities for more than a year.

The former extremist fighter is accused of a long list of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including torture, extrajudicial punishments and participation in a policy of forced marriage, which the court argues “led to repeated rapes and sexual enslavement of women and girls”.

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