Human Rights First Calls For Protection Of Dr. Denis Mukwege
WASHINGTON – Threats and intimidation aimed at prominent human rights defender and Nobel laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) should immediately stop, and he should be afforded full protection, said Human Rights First today.
Human Rights First awarded Mukwege its Human Rights Award in 2013 for his work with survivors of sexual violence. In recent weeks he and his family have been targeted on social media, and the Congolese surgeon has reportedly received death threats by phone.
“Mukwege is a leading doctor and human rights defender, known across Africa and throughout the world for his selfless defense of the rights of others,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “The authorities in the DRC should provide him, his staff, and his family with all necessary protection.”
Mukwege was violently attacked during an assassination attempt in 2012, and for many years his calls for perpetrators of sexual violence to be brought to justice have made him a target. In 2018, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his work to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of armed conflict.
“Death threats against human rights defenders in the DRC, and everywhere, need to be addressed seriously, and Mukwege should immediately be given the protection he needs,” said Dooley.