Nobel Peace Prize awarded to a doctor and a former captive of Islamic State

Nadia Murad

Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad. Image: PA

Friday, October 5, 2018

The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to a Congolese doctor and a Yazidi former captive of Islamic State.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad had won the award for their "crucial contribution" in highlighting and eliminating the use of sexual violence in war.

Mr Mukwege, a gynaecologist, has treated thousands of women in Congo, many of whom were victims of gang rape.


Forced to flee Congo

Nobel Peace Prize winner Denis Mukwege. Image: PA


Armed men attempted to kill him in 2012, forcing him to temporarily leave the country.

Ms Murad is one of an estimated 3,000 Yazidi girls and women who were victims of rape and other abuse by the IS army.

She managed to escape after three months and chose to speak publicly about her experience, earning her the title of UN's first goodwill ambassador for the dignity of survivors of human trafficking at the age of 23.

In an announcement, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said: "Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending these victims. Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others."

The head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee said this year's winners were chosen to draw attention to the fact that "women are ... actually used as weapons of war".