Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Yazidi activist Nadia Murad, an IS sex slave survivor, will be presented with the Nobel Peace Prize Monday, as they challenge the world to combat rape as a weapon of war.
Mukwege, dubbed “Doctor Miracle” for his work helping victims of sexual violence, and Murad, who has turned her experience into powerful advocacy for her Yazidi people, will receive the prize at a ceremony in Oslo.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee in October said the prize was for “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict”.
The laureates, who have dedicated their award to rape victims across the world, have said they hope the Nobel will raise awareness of sexual violence and make it harder for the world to ignore it.
“We cannot say that we didn’t act because we didn’t know. Now everyone knows. And I think now the international community has a responsibility to act,” Mukwege told reporters at a news conference on Sunday.
The surgeon has spent 20 years treating the wounds and emotional trauma inflicted on women in the DR Congo’s war-torn east.
“What we see during armed conflicts is that women’s bodies become battlefields and this cannot be acceptable,” he said.
Fellow laureate Murad has become a tireless campaigner for the rights of Yazidis since surviving the horrors of captivity under the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria where they targeted her Kurdish-speaking community.
Captured in 2014, she suffered forced marriage, beatings and gang-rape before she was able to escape.
She said the Nobel was “a sign” for the thousands of women still held by jihadists.
“This prize, one prize cannot remove all the violence and all the attacks on pregnant women, on children, on women and give them justice,” Murad said on Sunday.
But she said she hoped it would “open doors so that we can approach more governments”, to bring the perpetrators to court and “so that we can find a solution and actually stop what is happening”.
– Act or ‘injustice will continue’ –
The co-laureates have come to represent the struggle against a global scourge that goes well beyond any single conflict.
“Each of them in their own way has helped to give greater visibility to war-time sexual violence, so that the perpetrators can be held accountable for their actions,” said Nobel committee chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen, when the award was announced in October.
Mukwege has treated tens of thousands of victims — women, children and even babies just a few months old — at Panzi hospital which he founded in 1999 in DR Congo’s South Kivu.
Murad, now UN ambassador for victims of human trafficking, was among thousands of Yazidi women and girls who were abducted, raped and brutalised by jihadists during their assault in 2014.
Older women and men faced summary execution during the IS assault, which the United Nations has described as a possible genocide. Murad’s mother and six of her brothers were killed.
A UN team authorised to investigate the massacre of the Yazidi minority is due to finally start fieldwork in Iraq next year.
Murad said “steps towards justice” had given her hope.
But she stressed that “not a single ISIS terrorist” has appeared in court, adding “this injustice will continue in this world if it is not dealt with now”.
The Nobel Peace Prize — a gold medal, diploma and nine million Swedish Krona (880,000 euros, $1 million) — will be officially presented in a ceremony at Oslo City Hall at 1200 GMT.
Fox & Friends host right-winger pushing white nationalist views: ‘Common sense is now a hate crime’
A British writer popular with white nationalists appeared Thursday morning on "Fox & Friends" to argue that "common sense" ideas about identity had been turned into a "hate crime."
Anti-immigrant activist Douglas Murray -- author of "Neoconservatism: Why We Need It" and "The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam" -- spoke to Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt about his viral essay, "Vacuous liberal wokeness is now beyond parody."
"You say that 'liberal wokeness' turned beliefs that once seemed like into hate crimes," Earhardt said. "What used to be considered common sense that's now a hate crime, in your opinion?"
Trump has shrunk the White House entirely around himself: ‘It is a government of one’
President Donald Trump has cleared out all the constraints in his White House, which he's running much like the Trump Organization.
The president has chased away four national security advisers, three chiefs of staff, three directors of oval office operations and five communications directors -- an unprecedented amount of turnover for a modern president — and finds himself surrounded by compliant staffers and aides, reported Politico.
“It is a government of one in the same way in which the Trump Organization was a company of one,” said one former senior administration official.
Benny Gantz says he should be PM in Israel unity government
Benny Gantz, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's main opponent in the country's general election, said Thursday he should be prime minister in a unity government.
Gantz spoke to journalists after Netanyahu called for them to join together in a unity government as results from Tuesday's vote showed neither with an obvious path to form a majority coalition.
Gantz's centrist Blue and White is nevertheless two seats ahead of Netanyahu's right-wing Likud, according to results published by Israeli media with 97 percent of the vote counted.