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Congolese Doctor Awarded Sakharov Prize

  • RFE/RL

Denis Mukwege, director of Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Denis Mukwege, director of Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Congolese physician Denis Mukwege has been awarded the European Union's Sakharov human rights prize.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz said when he announced the recipient of the award on October 21, that Dr. Mukwege was "an example of humanity, a personality of our century, who honors Africa and the world."

Mukwege's hospital has treated thousands of mass rape victims in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mukwege said in a speech last year that "for 15 years I have witnessed mass atrocities committed against women's bodies and I cannot remain with my arms crossed because our common humanity calls on us to care for each other."

The two other candidates for the prize were Ukraine's pro-Western Euromaidan movement and Azerbaijani rights defender Leyla Yunus.

The 50,000-euro ($64,200) prize is awarded annually to honor defenders of human rights and freedom of expression.

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