SAA Statement on Targeting of Cultural Heritage Sites for Destruction

  • 1.  SAA Statement on Targeting of Cultural Heritage Sites for Destruction

    Posted Jan 07, 2020 03:15 PM

    The Society of American Archivists has grave concerns about President Donald Trump's suggestion that Iranian cultural heritage sites could be targeted as part of a military strike. The targeting of cultural heritage sites is a crime under the law of armed conflict, including the 1949 Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War and the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property.

    As a founding member of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, SAA advocates for the protection of all cultural property during armed conflict and natural disasters. SAA previously has registered its concerns about the fate of cultural heritage and archival records in times of armed conflict, issuing statements in 2003, 2008, and 2018 concerning the responsibilities of all parties towards movable and immovable cultural property in Iraq.

    Following the 2017 withdrawal of the United States from UNESCO membership, SAA remains concerned about the declining role of the United States in protecting cultural heritage at an international level. SAA encourages its members to let their legislators know that the cultural heritage community denounces the military targeting of cultural sites and urges the United States government to maintain its long-standing commitment to the protection of cultural heritage sites during peace and wartime.

    See the statement on the SAA website. 

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    Society of American Archivists
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