The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.” (Oct. 5)
A Congolese doctor who has been a fierce critic of his government’s treatment of victims of sexual violence and a Yazidi, a Kurdish activist who was held captive and raped by members of the Islamic State group, are the winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said Friday.
Denis Mukwege, 63, and Nadia Murad, 25, were jointly awarded the accolade for “their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.”
Mukwage is a gynaecologist who has treated thousands of women with extreme sexual injuries perpetrated by rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Murad is a Kurdish human rights activist from Iraq. She is one of an estimated 3,000 Yazidi girls and women who were victims of gang rape and other abuses by the Islamic State group. Yazidis are a Kurdish religious minority group.
The committee received nominations for 216 individuals and 115 organizations for the 9 million Swedish kronor ($1.01 million) award.
The Nobel committee said that this year’s winners made a “crucial contribution to focussing attention on, and combatting, war such war crimes.”
Last year’s winner was the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). “The Nobel Committee has rightly chosen to highlight the role of women this year in giving the award to Nadia and Denis, and it is great to see women like Nadia leading on this issue just as they do in the disarmament movement,” the group said in a congratulatory statement.
Past winners who came under criticism include former U.S. President Barack Obama, who won in 2009 after less than a year in office.
Among those put forward this year were the Syrian civilian aid group White Helmets, Russia’s Novaya Gazeta newspaper, Edward Snowden and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
While nominations for the prize are intended to be kept secret for 50 years, it was previously revealed that at least two 2018 nominations for President Donald Trump were forged. Trump has been nominated for the 2019 prize by U.S. Republican congressional members for his efforts at securing denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
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