Human Rights First hailed today’s announcement by the Norwegian Nobel Committee which awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize to Dr. Denis Mukwege, a gynecological surgeon from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and to Nadia Murad, a Yazidi Kurdish human rights activist.
In 2013, Human Rights First honored Dr. Mukwege with its annual Human Rights Award for his tireless and courageous work on behalf of women victims of rape in war-torn Congo. For nearly 20 years, Dr. Mukwege has helped women traumatized by gang rape in Eastern Congo, becoming the world’s leading expert in this grim specialty.
He founded Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, where he and his colleagues have treated thousands of women since 1998, providing them psychological, medical, socio-economic and legal support. Dr. Mukwege has also been an outspoken advocate, calling for accountability for these horrific crimes, often at great risk to himself and his family.
Since escaping from captivity at the hands of ISIS in late 2014, Nadia Murad has campaigned bravely and relentlessly on behalf of sexual violence victims and Iraq’s Yazidi population, testifying frequently before the UN and other bodies. Her work is widely credited with building global awareness of what the United States and others have labeled ISIS’s genocide against the Yazidis.