Nobel peace prize winners call for end to sexual violence

'We need to receive justice one day'

Zamira Rahim
Sunday 09 December 2018 19:28
Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege won the Nobel Peace Prize 2018
Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege won the Nobel Peace Prize 2018

Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege, this year's Nobel Peace Prize winners, have demanded justice for the victims of sexual violence, a day before they officially receive the award for their work in the field.

Speaking during a news conference at the Norwegian Nobel Institute on Sunday, Ms Murad said that nobody in Iraq had faced justice for raping Yazidi women and girls.

The activist survived sexual slavery under the Islamic State in 2014.

She is also an advocate for the Yazidi minority and for refugee and women's rights.

"We have not seen a single piece of justice in this light. We need to receive justice one day," she said, adding that 3,000 Yazidi women and girls remained in sexual captivity with IS fighters.

"If it was not for our campaign over the past four years, we would not have seen the steps we have seen towards justice."

Her fellow laureate, Mr Mukwege, is a doctor who helps victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

He heads the Panzi hospital in the eastern Congo city of Bukavu, which treats thousands of women each year.

Many are victims of sexual violence.

Mr Mukwege said that justice needed to be included in any peace process.

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"There is humanitarian law," he said. "We call on it to be applied in an impartial way."

The Second Congo War, which killed more than five million people, ended in 2003, but violence remains a problem in the country

"After the war ended, we have seen war lords reach the top of the state and there was no discussion of justice and violence has continued," Mr Mukwege said.

Winning the Nobel Peace Prize, he said, would help to bring some perpetrators to justice.

"It will help the international community take its responsibilities when it comes to the victims of sexual violence," he said.

Additional reporting by agencies

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