Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Ghanaian President Mahama concedes defeat to opposition leader Afuko-Addo

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's TV Career Continues

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

President Park Impeached, Ghana's High Stakes Election (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Aleppo Offensive, Renzi Resigns, Trump's Cards (part 2)

Read more

ENCORE!

South Korea: An inside look at the K-pop wave

Read more

#THE 51%

Diving back in: Offering support for French mothers returning to work

Read more

REPORTERS

Chaotic post-hurricane relief efforts in Haiti

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Cash crunch casualties: India's wedding industry suffers from currency changes

Read more

FOCUS

Ivory Coast faces uphill battle against counterfeit medicine

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. And you can watch it online as early as Friday.

Latest update : 2013-02-01

Denis Mukwege, the Congolese doctor who 'heals' raped women

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, rape has become a weapon of war. For over a dozen years, gynaecologist Denis Mukwege has operated on more than 30,000 raped and mutilated women. With his help, they have begun to put their ordeal behind them and rebuild their lives. The doctor, who is considered a hero, is continuing his fight despite an attempt on his life. Our reporters Marc Perelman and Johan Bodin met him.

For several years, I had been hearing about Denis Mukwege, a gynaecologist who heals raped women in the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In late October, I learned that there had been an attempt on his life and that he had fled his hometown of Bukavu.

After a few weeks, I eventually managed to get in touch with him. I asked him if he would be willing to grant me an interview during a visit to Paris, one of a number of Western capitals he was touring during his forced exile to alert world leaders about the tragic fate of the raped and tortured women of the Congo. He agreed and told me that he was going back to Bukavu in mid-January - and offered me to come along.

After I interviewed him and heard him tell his story, especially how the women of Bukavu had collected money to pay for his flight ticket, I was convinced. I pitched a report on his journey home to my editors, who immediately agreed. And so a few days later, with Johan Bodin, we started following the Congolese doctor from Paris to his brother’s home in Belgium, then on to Burundi and finally Bukavu where he was welcomed as a hero.

Before and during his return trip, he told us he was worried about his safety and he had to work the phones to ensure that the local police and UN troops would protect him. Once there, he was quickly reassured, although he didn't like being followed around the clock by armed guards. While we inquired about the murder attempt against him and focused on his fierce denunciations of armed groups who use rape to instil fear and seize control of the many riches of Eastern Congo, he insisted that our priority should be to listen to the women.

From his surgery to the kindergarten, from the police prison cells to the safe houses, we were confronted with sometimes unbearable stories. But those stories need to be told and heard.

By Marc Perelman

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2016-12-09 Americas

Chaotic post-hurricane relief efforts in Haiti

Haiti is still waiting for the final results of the November 20 presidential election, but time is running out. For more than a year, an electoral crisis has paralyzed the...

Read more

2016-12-01 Asia-pacific

Uzbekistan reinforces its tight grip on election and country

Uzbekistan is holding a presidential election on Sunday that is going largely unnoticed abroad. The successor to the late president, Islam Karimov, who held power for more than a...

Read more

2016-11-25 Americas

Video: Venezuela close to breaking point

As Venezuela sinks deeper into political crisis, its economy is close to collapse. With hyperinflation, food shortages, malnutrition and extreme poverty, daily life for...

Read more

2016-11-18 paedophilia

Tracking a Church paedophilia case from Dakar to Quebec

Following a series of paedophilia scandals in the Catholic Church in recent years, FRANCE 24 reporters investigated the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, a Catholic religious...

Read more

2016-11-11 Iraq

Video: The journalists on the frontline in Iraq

Journalists embedded with the Iraqi army on the frontline battling the Islamic State group risk their lives every day to report on this must-crucial of wars. FRANCE 24’s team on...

Read more