EU Praises Nobel Prize Awarded to Fighters against Sexual Violence

The Korean leaders step over the demilitiarized zone during their historic meeting in April. EPA

The Korean leaders step over the demilitiarized zone during their historic meeting in April. EPA

Berit Reiss-Andersen said after announcing the prize that both laureates, Denis Mukwege of Congo and ethnic Yazidi Nadia Murad, had put their personal security at stake as activists on the issue.

Some commentators predicted that President Donald Trump and South Korean leader Moon Jae-in may be recipients of the prize for their work on restoring peace to the Korean peninsula, despite the fact that North Korea has not yet agreed to denuclearize.

Murad was 21 in 2014 when Islamic State militants attacked the village where she had grown up in northern Iraq. Opened in 1999, the clinic treats thousands of women each year, many of them requiring surgery from sexual violence. This was despite the use of rape in the colonial wars of independence, the second World War, Rwanda, Bosnia, Bangladesh and the many civil wars seen during the 20th and early 21stcentury.

New Iraqi President Barham Saleh called the award "an honour for all Iraqis who fought terrorism and bigotry".

He lives under the permanent protection of United Nations peacekeepers at his hospital, mainly because of his calls to impose harsher sentences against those who use sexual violence weapon of war.

From Canada's Parliament to Germany and refugee camps in Greece, Bombach followed Murad for three months in 2016 on her long and hard journey to tell the world what her community and she herself suffered as a sex slave of IS, also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh.

Slight, and softly-spoken Murad has now become a global voice, campaigning for justice for her people and for the acts committed by the jihadists to be recognised internationally as genocide.

Alongside Mukwege, the committee honoured Murad, a 25-year-old Iraqi woman from the Yazidi community who in 2014 was kidnapped by Islamic State militants and endured three months as a sex slave before managing to escape.

Other women came to us with burns.

I started to ask myself what was going on. You had situations where multiple people were raped at the same time, publicly - a whole village might be raped during the night. The UN was pleased that Murad, who was appointed a UN goodwill ambassador in 2016, had won.

The Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Literature Prize, has been in turmoil since November a year ago when a Swedish daily - in the wake of the #MeToo campaign - published the testimonies of 18 women who claimed to have been raped, sexually assaulted or harassed by an influential figure with long-standing ties to the Academy. The Canadian was honoured along with Arthur Ashkin, from the U.S., and Gerard Mourou, from France.

In other Nobel prizes this year, the medicine prize went Monday to James Allison of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University, whose discoveries helped cancer doctors fight many advanced-stage tumors and save an "untold" numbers of lives.

How is the prize decided?

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