Sex abuse survivor, doctor win Nobel Peace Prize
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 10/05/18, 11:39 am
A Congolese doctor and an Iraqi woman received the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their work against sexual violence and war crimes. Both are the first from their countries to receive the award. Dr. Denis Mukwege, 63, founded a hospital in the eastern area of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he has treated thousands of women, many of whom were victims of rape in the conflict-ridden region. He temporarily left the country after armed men tried to kill him in 2012. Nadia Murad in 2014 was kidnapped at age 19 by Islamic State (ISIS), along with an estimated 3,000 Yazidi girls and women, and sold into sex slavery, raped, and tortured. After escaping and receiving treatment in Germany, she began raising awareness for what ISIS had done to her religious minority and became the UN’s first goodwill ambassador for the dignity of survivors of human trafficking at 23 years old.
“[Mukwege and Murad] have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said. “Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending these victims. Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others.”
The pair previously won Europe’s premiere human rights award, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
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