Dr. Denis Mukwege of Congo Wins Biggest Human Right Prize – Sakharov Prize

Lawmakers awarded the biggest human right prize called Sakharov Prize to Dr. Denis Mukwegeof Democratic Republic of Congo. The doctor is a practicing gynecologist who has campaigned against sexual violence on women of war. The African doctor, 59 years old, himself set up a hospital in eastern Congo’s Bukavu in 1998 and works there to date.

Dr. Denis has since helped thousands of rape victims and gained international attention as an activist. He was announced the winner of Sakharov Prize in the European Parliament in Strasbourg while competing with other nominees that include the Euromaidan demonstrators and activists in Ukraine along with the jailed Azerbaijani human rights activist Leyla Yunis. Countless others from various nationalities and casts such as Latinos, Native Americans, Asian and Middle Easterners compete for this peace prize annually. The gynecologist, Dr. Denis Mukwege will now receive 50,000 euros next month as his prize.

He is awarded the prize for Freedom of Thought this Tuesday with a unanimous decision, and will be formally awarded in a plenary session in Strasbourg on November 26. The doctor has been tipped several times for Nobel Prize previously, but now has successfully won the top human rights prize, Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought – named after the late Soviet dissident and scientist Andrei Sakharov.

Dr. Denis has been actively involved in standing up for rights of women, especially those injured and sexually assaulted in war in the country and rest of Africa. Vast mineral riches of Congo have been highly controlled by rival of eastern Congo, and they use mass rape to terrorize local population. Dr. Denis has stood against them and did his part in saving women from this curse.

In October 2012, an attempt to kill Dr. Denis failed but left his bodyguard dead. He then flew to Europe, only to return to the country in 2013 where he continued fighting against sexual violence against women. Thousands of his countrymen welcomed him and his famous slogan of “no to sexual violence, no to war, and no to the Balkanisation of the DRC” came into existence.

The doctor is considered a hero among his people and rest of the world who continues to defend and treat injured women due to gang rapes. His speeches and talks have inspired numerous people, despite their nationality, race or profession. He spreads a message of peace, love and fundamental rights of women in not only DR Congo but entire world.

The prestigious Sakharov Prize has been previously awarded to past Nobel Prize laureates like Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela. South Asian schoolgirl Malala Yusufzai was the 2013 winner of Sakharov Prize and other activists who stood up for peace in 2011 Arab uprisings that led to political upheaval in African and Middle Eastern races.

This Post First Appeared on HueWire HERE

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