The gynecologist’s career has spanned more than 20 years, during which time he has treated tens of thousands of rape victims.
The UN said the recent threats against Dr. Mukwege via social media and in direct phone calls to him and his family “followed his condemnation of the continued killing of civilians in eastern DRC and his renewed calls for accountability for human rights violations and abuses.”
His family and colleagues at Panzi hospital, where he works, have also been targeted.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also recently warned Mukwege is “at serious risk.”
Mukwege has received deaths threats in the past and survived a major assassination attempt in October 2012 when armed men entered his home, firing shots and killing his bodyguard.
The attempt came several weeks after a speech at the United Nations where he denounced the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s 16-year-long conflict and called for justice.
“People are starting their narrative at the time of their choosing. They choose to pick a point in time and start from there… the very long history of either Rwanda or DRC. People talk about mapping report, I don’t know what that nonsense is about.”
A new wave of attacks
“The hospital where Dr. Mukwege works must also be protected,” said Amnesty International’s deputy regional director for East Africa in a statement on September 4.
“As well as hundreds of doctors, nurses and support staff who are worried for their safety, the hospital contains thousands of medical files belonging to survivors of rape, for whom Dr. Mukwege has been a longtime advocate.”