OSLO (Reuters) - Following are reactions to Friday’s award of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize to Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Yazidi rights activist Nadia Murad for their work to end the use of sexual violence in war.
UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS MICHELLE BACHELET:
“It is hard to imagine two more worthy winners of the Nobel Peace Prize than Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege. This is richly deserved recognition of these two extraordinarily brave, persistent and effective campaigners against the scourge of sexual violence, and the use of rape as a weapon of war.
Nadia and Denis, I’m sure I speak for all human rights defenders when I say we salute you, we admire you beyond words. You have fought for the pain women have suffered through sexual abuse to be recognised and confronted, and for their dignity to be restored. We need more people to stand up the way you have stood up for the rights of women, for justice, for the rights of minorities, for the rights of everyone. Thank you for everything you have done.”
“I congratulate both winners of this year’s #NobelPeacePrize. They have my deepest respect for the courage, compassion and humanity they demonstrate in their daily fight.”
“Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi congratulates Iraqi citizen Nadia Murad on winning the Nobel Peace Prize.”
“Our deepest respect to @NadiaMuradBasee who was awarded the 2018 #NobelPeacePrize for her courageous campaigning on behalf of victims of sexual violence during conflict.
The @IraqiGovt renews its commitment to supporting victims of sexual violence perpetrated by Daesh in Iraq and to delivering meaningful justice to survivors.”
“A thousand congratulations to Nadia Murad for winning the Nobel prize. It is the victory of good and peace over the forces of darkness.”
“This is really a fantastic announcement and I think we can all congratulate the winners of this Peace Prize.
“I will recall that this cause is very close to the United Nations, as you know we have a special representative who is also working towards this end. And I’m sure that this Nobel Peace Prize will help advance the cause of ending sexual violence as a weapon of conflict.”
THE U.S.-LED COALITION FIGHTING ISLAMIC STATE, ON TWITTER:
“Congratulations to @NadiaMuradBasee for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. We salute her courage in surviving and escaping the brutality of Daesh, and in speaking up on behalf of victims of human trafficking everywhere #LifeAfterDaesh #NobelPrize”
GREGOIRE KIRO TSONGO, MEMBER OF CONGOLESE POLITICAL OPPOSITION ALLIANCE ‘TOGETHER FOR CHANGE’:
“Great pride for the Democratic Republic of Congo, which now counts a Nobel Prize. I hope the (state-owned) Congolese National Radio Television will broadcast the information without considering Doctor Denis Mukwege’s position in the ongoing electoral process, because his reward is a national pride and deserves the front page of a magazine entirely dedicated to Denis Mukwege’s fight on state TV. I also call on the authorities to lift the ban on ‘The man who fixes women’ – the documentary in which Denis Mukwege is the main character.”
“Dr. Denis Mukwege is a renowned gynaecologist, a courageous and outspoken human rights and democracy activist, and a hero to so many across the Democratic Republic of Congo and beyond. At great personal risk, Dr. Mukwege has dared to speak out about the pervasiveness of rape used as a weapon of war in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and the near total impunity for these crimes.
“Dr. Mukwege’s Panzi Hospital in eastern Congo has given hope to countless survivors of sexual violence and has allowed them to rebuild their lives despite suffering unspeakable atrocities. These women and girls have been healed, listened to, and know they deserve justice thanks to Dr. Mukwege’s tireless and courageous efforts. The prize today is an honour and tribute not only to Dr. Mukwege, but to all of them.”
DONNA MCKAY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PHYSICIANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS,
“We are thrilled to see our dear friend and partner honoured for his fearless work helping tens of thousands of Congolese girls and women who have been abused during the conflict in their country.
“Dr. Mukwege is not only an extraordinary physician, but a courageous human rights leader who perfectly embodies the critical role that medical professionals play in witnessing abuse and speaking out against injustice.”
“It is the work of people like Ms. Murad which really makes a difference to whether sexual violence survivors are heard, whether the plight of Yazidi survivors is made known, and whether they can seek meaningful justice.
“Ms. Murad’s work to speak out for the injustices faced by the Yazidis in Iraq – in particular her brave initiatives to bring about global awareness of the human trafficking and rape of Yazidi women and girls by ISIS – makes her a deserving winner of this prestigious prize.”
LEILA ZERROUGUI, SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO:
“We hope that the prize will bolster the struggle against gender-based violence throughout Congo and thus contribute to sustainable peace in the country.”
“The Nobel Committee finally shines the spotlight on sexual violence today, first and foremost towards women and children in war.
“I first suggested Dennis Mukwege for the Peace Prize in 2008 after several visits to the Panzi Hospital, which he created for raped women in Eastern Congo. With great danger to his own life, he has since been a tireless advocate for the most forgotten and vulnerable survivors of war.
“It is fitting that he shares the award with Nadia Murad, a brave woman who has survived sexual violence, and taken up the fight for other women so they do not have to endure similar horrors.
“Today’s award will boost our work for survivors of sexual violence, crimes which are much more prevalent in conflict than most people realise. We must strengthen international efforts to prevent theses assaults, and ensure that those who commit what are pure war crimes are held accountable.”
Reporting by Reuters bureaus; Editing by Larry King and Raissa Kasolowsky