Women, Peace & Security

In the News: Tuesday, 18 August 2020

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Real Life Heroes: Building a Safe Space for Rohingya Women Refugees

Source: UN News

Bangladeshi architect Rizvi Hassan is the driving force behind the construction of a safe space for Rohingya women and girls, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, site of the world’s largest camp for displaced people, and home to around a million Rohingya refugees who fled from Myanmar. The community centre caters to a marginalized, vulnerable group, at risk of gender-based violence.

Read the story here.

Congo-Kinshasa: PHR Statement on Intimidation and Threats against Dr. Denis Mukwege, Human Rights Defender and Nobel Peace Prize Co-Laureate

Source: allAfrica / Physicians for Human Rights (New York)

As a longstanding partner of Dr. Denis Mukwege – the renowned Congolese surgeon, 2018 Nobel Prize for Peace co-laureate, and Founder and Medical Director of Panzi Hospital, South Kivu of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is urgently appealing for immediate action to protect the doctor, his family members, his patients, and the vital work of the staff at Panzi Hospital.

During the past several weeks, Dr. Mukwege has been the target of an alarming intimidation campaign, online and offline. General James Kabarebe, former Minister of Defense of Rwanda and a longtime security advisor to Rwandan president Paul Kagame, denounced Dr. Mukwege on Rwandan state television. Dr. Mukwege and his family have become the targets of attacks on social media and have received death threats on his cell phone through text messages.

The intimidation efforts appear to be in response to Dr. Mukwege’s condemnation of a wave of recent killings by local armed groups in the South Kivu and Ituri provinces in the DRC, and in reaction to Dr. Mukwege’s consistent appeals for the implementation of the longstanding recommendations of a UN Mapping Report on the most serious violations of human rights in the DRC between 1993 and 2003. These include investigations and prosecutions for atrocities that took the lives of millions of people in the region and have included the mass sexual violence that caused thousands of women and girls to seek and receive treatment from Dr. Mukwege and his colleagues at Panzi Hospital.

Read the full statement here.

South Africa: Organisation Against Gender-Based Violence Calls for AU Action on Mukwege Threats

Source: allAfrica

South Africa Women Fight Back (SAWFB), an organisation aimed at keeping all women safe from gender based violence, has sent a letter to the President of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the African Union, Cyril Ramaphosa, to call for the protection of Dr Denis Mukwege and his family.

Read the full letter here.

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