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Congolese 'Rape Doctor' Wins Sakharov Human Rights Prize

  • VOA News

Actor, writer and director Ben Affleck, center, and Cindy McCain, right, applaud Denis Mukwege, left, Medical Director of the Panzi Hospital in the Congo, at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Capitol Hill, Washington, Feb. 26, 2014.

Actor, writer and director Ben Affleck, center, and Cindy McCain, right, applaud Denis Mukwege, left, Medical Director of the Panzi Hospital in the Congo, at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Capitol Hill, Washington, Feb. 26, 2014.

A Congolese gynecologist who has spent more than 15 years helping women heal from the horrors of rape is the winner of this year's Sakharov human rights prize.

The European Parliament unanimously chose Dr. Denis Mukwege for what it calls his fight for the protection of women.

The 59-year-old Mukwege founded his Panzi Hospital in Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1998 to treat victims of war-inspired mass rape and sexual violence.

He survived an assassination attempt and defied death threats for speaking out against rape as a weapon of war.

Mukwege will be awarded the Sakharov prize November 26 in Strasbourg, France.

Runners-up for this year's award were Ukraine's pro-democracy EuroMaidan movement and jailed Azerbaijani human rights activist Leyla Yunis.

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought was named for the late Soviet dissident and scientist Andrei Sahkarov.

Some information for this report comes from AFP and Reuters.

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