Protests back Congo's threatened Nobel winner

People in Bukavu, a city in eastern Congo, are rallying behind a Congolese Nobel peace prize winner who has received death threats in recent weeks for speaking out over serious human rights violations.

This is Denis Mukwege's hometown, the site of a hospital where the doctor treats survivors of sexual violence, which is endemic in the region's conflicts.

Don't touch our Nobel prize', the banners say. The protesters are petitioning the government to give him official protection.

Last week, the United Nations said Mukwege's life was in danger after he and his family received the threats via social media and by phone.

Safina Kusimwa says Mukwege treated and fed the female victims, covering their expenses.

“Even though those of us here in Bukavu did not experience the atrocities, our sisters in the forest got raped and ruined. Some completely lost their wombs, and some carried their wombs in their hands, some were severely injured before they received help. They had severe infections and did not look like they would survive.”

This was the moment local women celebrated Mukwege's Nobel win in 2018.

As well as his medical work, Mukwege has long called for the prosecution of armed groups responsible for sexual violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

In 2012, he narrowly survived an attempt on his life.