The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Journalist found Mali jihadists' rules for women, trial hears Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Journalist found Mali jihadists' rules for women, trial hears

Harald Doornbos testified to the ICC [Twitter]

Date of publication: 8 September, 2020

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Dutch journalist Harald Doornbos testified to the ICC against alleged jihadist police chief Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud.

A Dutch journalist told the trial of a Malian jihadist on Monday that he had found evidence of strict rules imposed on women by the Islamists who seized Timbuktu.

Harald Doornbos was the first witness to testify at the International Criminal Court in The Hague against alleged jihadist police chief Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud.

Al Hassan, 42, is charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity, rape and sexual slavery while the fabled Malian shrine city was under the control of the extremists for almost a year from early 2012.

Middle East-based freelance journalist Doornbos said when he went to report from Timbuktu after the jihadists had been driven out, he found evidence in a former bank that had been turned into a police station by the extremists.

"There was like this document showing basically a picture of a woman in niqab," Doornbos told the court, adding that he had taken pictures of some of the documents he found there.

"Basically this was a leaflet where the jihadists, where the rulers, by then the former rulers of Timbuktu, basically had written on it by which laws women had to dress themselves, what they had to do, what was allowed, what was not allowed."

The journalist also said he took a picture of a room in the bank with metal bars at the entrance.

"People were telling us that women were locked up there after they were convicted for various crimes... what the Islamic police would consider to be a crime, and that they would keep women there," Doornbos added.

The case against Al Hassan, who has not entered a plea, was opened in July.

He is accused of personally overseeing corporal punishments including amputations and floggings, and of arranging for women and girls to be forced to marry militants in what prosecutors called "gender-based persecution".

The journalist said "by far most" of Timbuktu's residents were overjoyed that the jihadists -- who were from the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Ansar Eddine groups -- had been driven out.

"They really had the feeling... that the town was liberated by French army and Malian army. Everybody was very happy that the jihadists left," he said.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay connected 

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More