Denis Mukwege: winner of Sakharov Prize 2014

The European Parliament in Strasbourg awarded Dr Denis Mukwege the top human rights prize for his fight for protection of victims of rape and sexual violence.

Commenting on the announcement, Scotland’s only member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Alyn Smith said:

“Denis Mukwege survived an assassination attempt after condemning the continued use of sexual violence in Democratic Republic of Congo by forces fighting to control the country's vast mineral wealth.

“He’s worked tirelessly to help victims of rape in his country, where sexual violence was used as a weapon of war, and continues to work with the victims today.

“Human rights are among the main priorities of the European Parliament and it’s our duty not just to recognize but also to protect those who risk their lives to fight injustice.”

The Parliament has also paid tribute to the other finalists, Ukraine protest group Euromaidan and Leyla Yunus, who remains imprisoned in Azerbaijan for her fight for democracy and human rights in her country.

Dr Mukwege will be invited to Strasbourg on 26 November to receive the award during the plenary session.