October 5, 2018 / 2:32 PM / a year ago

Congolese doctor dedicates Nobel Peace Prize to victims of sexual violence

FILE PHOTO: Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege attends an award ceremony to receive his 2014 Sakharov Prize at the European Parliament in Strasbourg November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Congolese Nobel Peace Prize-winner Denis Mukwege on Friday dedicated his award to all women affected by rape and sexual violence.

Mukwege, a doctor who treats war rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nadia Murad, a Yazidi rights activist and survivor of sexual slavery by Islamic State, were earlier announced as joint winners of the prestigious award.

Speaking at a news conference at his Panzi hospital in the eastern Congolese city of Bukavu, Mukwege said the prize was an important recognition of many women’s trauma.

“This violence committed on their bodies happens not only in our country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, but also in many other countries,” he said.

“Dear survivors all over the world, I would like to tell you that through this prize, the world is listening to you and rejects indifference, the world refuses to stand idly by in the face of your suffering.”

Opened in 1999, the Panzi clinic receives thousands of women each year, many of them requiring surgery from sexual violence. It also provides HIV/AIDS treatment as well as free maternal care.

Reporting by Crispin Kyalangalilwa and Fiston Mahamba; Writing by Sofia Christensen and Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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