In a historic first, the International Criminal Court has classified destroying cultural artifacts as a war crime.
It follows the trial of jihadist Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi, who pleaded guilty Monday to destroying religious monuments in the ancient city of Timbuktu in Mali.
“I’m willing to accept the judgment of the chamber, but I will do so with pain and a broken heart,” Mahdi told the court Monday.
“Such attacks affect humanity as a whole. We must stand up to the destruction and defacing of our common heritage,” prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in September.