Jewish World Watch, a genocide prevention organization that brings hope and healing to survivors of mass atrocities worldwide, urgently appeals for immediate action to protect our long-time partner Dr. Denis Mukwege from recent threats of violence and death.
Dr. Mukwege — 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Congolese gynecological surgeon, and trailblazing advocate for women’s rights — has been the target of multiple threats, both online and offline, since speaking out against recent spikes in violence in his homeland. The lives of Dr. Mukwege, his family members, dedicated staff, and patients at his Panzi Hospital complex in Bukavu are at risk, and the international community must urgently mobilize to protect them from imminent danger.
Sign our petition calling for the immediate protection of Dr. Denis Mukwege, his family and his staff at the Panzi Hospital in the Congo
On July 26, Dr. Mukwege publicly condemned a massacre in Kipupu, attributing the atrocities to the same bad actors that have been wreaking havoc in eastern Congo since 1996 and calling for justice to be served. In response, General James Kabarebe, former Minister of Defense of Rwanda and a long-time security advisor to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, denounced Dr. Mukwege on Rwandan state television. Since then, Dr. Mukwege and his family have been the targets of multiple threats of violence and death, including via social media posts and text messages to his personal cell phone.
Dr. Mukwege’s life has been threatened numerous times in the past because of his commitment to dismantling the scourge of gender-based violence as a weapon of war in the Congo and his demand for accountability and justice. He has tirelessly called for implementation of the recommendations of the United Nations Mapping Report, which exposed the dynamics of atrocities in the Congo that continue to this day. In October 2012, Dr. Mukwege was violently attacked and his family was held at gunpoint in an assassination attempt that resulted in the murder of his trusted friend and security guard.
“We cannot stand idly by and allow him to be silenced. We are using all possible advocacy channels to draw attention to this threat and secure his safety.”
– Vaughan Meyer, Jewish World Watch Board Member and Advocacy Committee Chair
Jewish World Watch has worked with Dr. Mukwege for nearly 10 years on various interventions designed to heal and empower female survivors of gender-based violence and their children. The most recent incarnation of our partnership is our Rapid Response Missions — an innovative new project that brings Dr. Mukwege’s holistic model of medical care, counseling, and legal aid to the most vulnerable last-mile communities in the Congo, unreachable by traditional aid mechanisms.
Jewish World Watch calls upon the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) to immediately ramp up security for Dr. Mukwege, his family and his staff at the Panzi Hospital complex in Bukavu, South Kivu.
We demand that governments refrain from inciting violence through messaging that threatens the dignity and safety of fearless human rights defenders like Dr. Mukwege.
Finally, we call upon the Congolese government, the United Nations and civil society organizations to investigate the recent spike in violence in the Ituri and South Kivu provinces of the Congo.
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“Dr. Mukwege has long been a powerful voice for change in the Congo,” said Jewish World Watch Board Member and Advocacy Committee Chair Vaughan Meyer, who traveled to the Congo to meet Dr. Mukwege at Panzi Hospital in 2014. “We cannot stand idly by and allow him to be silenced. We are using all possible advocacy channels to draw attention to this threat and secure his safety.”
Click here to learn more about Jewish World Watch’s Rapid Response Missions and our work with Dr. Mukwege and his Panzi Hospital.