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Congolese physician and Yazidi human rights activist win 2018 Nobel Peace Prize
06 October 2018, 09:25 | Erica Roy
APNobel Prize winner and human rights activist Nadia Murad at the International Center in Vienna Austria
Mr Mukwege leads the Panzi Hospital in the eastern city of Bukavu. Human Rights Watch says armed groups and members of the Congolese army commit sexual violence against women and girls, and some men and boys, as a way to "punish" those belonging to a certain ethnic group or those they believe are helping the "enemy".
In this Monday, May 22, 2017 file photo, Human rights activist Nadia Murad speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at the International Center in Vienna, Austria.
Murad, a member of Iraq's minority Yazidi community, was herself a victim of sexual violence after Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants stormed through her hometown and took her captive.
He and his colleagues are said to have treated about 30,000 rape victims, developing great expertise in the treatment of serious injuries sustained during sex assaults that were carried out as a weapon of war. But it was a crime in the shadows.
All the prizes except the peace prize are presented in Stockholm by the King of Sweden.
Mukwege has received scores of honours including Europe's top human rights prize - Sakharov Prize - and three nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize for his service and fight against sexual violence.
Although the Second Congo War, which killed more than five million people, formally ended in 2003, violence remains rampant, with militias frequently targeting civilians.
For nearly 20 years I have witnessed war crimes committed against women, girls, and even baby girls not only in my country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, but also in many other countries.
"He has risked his life to help women survive atrocity", said SIPRI's Smith. Government spokesman Lambert Mendetold The Associated Press that Mukwege did "remarkable" work, though he claimed the laureate tended to politicize it. "We hope that the world will not put off acting with force and determination in your favor because the survival of humanity depends on you", Mukwege said.
On Friday, Mukwege dedicated his award to women around the world who have been wounded in wars and those "confronted with violence every day". Ms Murad said she had managed to leave the compound and stopped at a house to ask for help. He said, "I can see in the faces of many women how they are happy to be recognized". Murad was abducted in 2014 and repeatedly raped and beaten by her "owner", who also allowed her to be gang-raped by other ISIS terrorists. Her assaulters threatened to execute her if she did not convert to their hateful, inhuman version of Islam.
Along with numerous other young women in her village, she was taken into captivity by the militants, and sold repeatedly for sex as part of Islamic State's slave trade.
It was at this point that Murad learned of the deaths of six of her brothers and her mother. "At some point, there was rape and nothing else".
The jihadists organized slave markets for selling off the women and girls, and Yazidi women were forced to renounce their religion.
Although there is no strict rule as to when the name of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate will be announced, the established custom is to make the announcement on the Friday of the first full week of October.
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