DR Congo Doctor Denis Mukwege Wins Sakharov Prize

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Denis Mukwege have been helping thousands of victims of sexual violence in the DR Congo
Denis Mukwege has been helping thousands of victims of sexual violence in the DR Congo

A doctor from the Democratic Republic of Congo has won Europe’s top human rights prize for helping thousands of gang rape victims in the country.

Denis Mukwege was announced the winner of the Sakharov prize by the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The 59-year-old gynaecologist set up the Panzi hospital in eastern Congo in 1999 to treat women who have been subject to horrific sexual violence.

He will collect 50,000 euros (£39,400; $63,600) prize next month.

Two years ago Dr Mukwege survived an assassination attempt after condemning the continued use of sexual violence in DR Congo by forces fighting to control the country’s vast mineral wealth.

Ukraine protest group Euromaidan and Azerbaijani activist Leyla Yunus came second and third respectively.

The Sakharov prize – named after famous Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov – is awarded each year for the promotion of human rights and democracy around the world.

Last year, it was awarded to Pakistani child education activist Malala Yousafzai.

Previous winners of the prestigious prize included Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi.

BBC

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