Government in Congo requested to protect human rights activist
By Godfrey Olukya 29-10-2012
The International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict has called on the government of the Democratic Republic of
Congo to protect Doctor Denis Mukwege after a violent attack and assassination attempt at his home in Bukavu.
Dr. Mukwege is a world-renowned surgeon and director of Panzi Hospital in Eastern Congo’s South Kivu province. The clinic has treated over 30,000 survivors of sexual violence.
On Saturday four armed men reportedly entered Mukwege’s home in his absence and held several family members at gunpoint. Upon his arrival, they forced him out of his car, shooting and killing a security guard who tried to intervene. Dr. Mukwege ducked when the armed men fired shots towards him, before driving off in his car, which was found abandoned soon after.
Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee said, ‘Dr. Mukwege embodies the strength of Congolese women who never relent in the face of such senseless violence. I join the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict, and others, in calling for the Democratic Republic of Congo to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice.’
The Campaign sent it’s condolences to the family of Joseph Bizmana, the guard killed in the attack.
‘ We fear for the safety and well being of Dr. Denis Mukwege and his family. Moreover, we are alarmed that the attempt on his life has a
possible link to activities that Dr. Mukwege undertook in support of advocacy for the Campaign in September at the United Nations,
spotlighting the increasing rape and gender violence in Eastern Congo.’Gbowee said.
Before being attacked Dr. Mukwege said in an interview a few days ago,“This year I am once again operating on women whose genitals were destroyed by rape and other atrocities. There are many women who arebarely getting by, and rape is continuing. The rainy season is coming soon in North Kivu and the vulnerability of women is increasing.’
He ended had called urgent action to arrest those responsible for the crimes against humanity so that they are prosecuted.