Published: Wed, December 12, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Nobel Peace prize winners seek justice for war rape victims

Nobel Peace prize winners seek justice for war rape victims

That day, Clooney took a moment to speak to the Nobel Prize organization about the importance of her friend Murad's work in particular.

The 25-year-old was declared the victor of the Nobel in October alongside Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege for their "efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war".

"The first thing they did was force me to convert to Islam", Murad told AFP in 2016. "This is a prize can't make the violence against women and children back", said Murad.

"We need to realize that any woman who is a victim of sexual violence within her own country - such women should be allowed treatment and it's not only medical treatment, also psychological treatment, judicial treatment", he said. "But I think today we have a moment to recognize the extraordinary courage shown by these two individuals, and I really look forward to seeing the awesome work that these two laureates will go on to do".

Ms Murad and Dr Mukwege will receive their prize on Monday at a ceremony in the Norwegian capital.

She set about trying to escape and managed to flee with the help of a Muslim family from Mosul.

Winning the Nobel Peace Prize, he said, would help to bring perpetrators to justice. She was kidnapped by the Islamic State and repeatedly raped.

Mukwege said in a speech that the abundance of natural resources in his country is the root cause of conflicts.

"The protection of the Yazidis and all vulnerable communities around the world is the responsibility of the worldwide community", Ms Murad told the ceremony in Oslo.

The abuses she and her people had suffered were "systematic and part of a military strategy", the committee said, adding that they "served as a weapon in the fight against Yazidis and other religious minorities".

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Subsequent research efforts have never adequately painted a full picture of sexual crimes in the Congo due to underreporting and further violence, but the last available data found that at least 1.8 million women - or 12 per cent of all Congolese women - have been raped.

Murad once lived in the mountain village of Kocho near the Yazidi stronghold of Sinjar in northern Iraq, close to the border with Syria.

In her Nobel acceptance address, Murad said more than 6,500 women and girls from her community had been kidnapped, raped and traded "in the 21st century, in the age of globalization and human rights".

Nadia also touched on the fate of more than 3,000 children and women still in the hands of the Islamic State group.

"Young girls at the prime of life are sold, bought, held captive and raped every day".

But Ms Murad is not finished - she wants justice in court against those who abused her and her people.

"What if they were a commercial deal, an oil field or a shipment of weapons?"

Murad, now a United Nations ambassador for victims of human trafficking living in Germany, said the "steps towards justice" had given her hope.

They received a standing ovation and much applause from the crowd as they gave emotional acceptance speeches, calling for urgent action.

No jihadist has yet faced trial over the atrocities against the Yazidis.

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