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Congolese journalist to receive Prince of Asturias Concord Prize

Caddy Adzuba, 33, honored for her work denouncing violence against women in her home country

Congolese journalist Caddy Adzuba.
Congolese journalist Caddy Adzuba.

This year’s Prince of Asturias Prize for Concord will go to Congolese journalist Caddy Adzuba. Recognized for her activism work in support of press freedom and the rights of women and children in her homeland, which has been at war since 1996, the 33-year-old has received numerous death threats for condemning sexual violence there and is under the protection of the United Nations.

The jury of the prestigious annual Spanish prizes said it was giving her the award for being “a symbol of the peaceful struggle against violence affecting women, poverty and discrimination, through her risky and generous work.”

Born in Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1981, she is a founding member of Euro-Arab Foundation-financed project Un Altavoz para el Silencio (A loudspeaker for the silence) and works at Radio Okapi, the broadcaster of the UN Mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

She is also a member of the East Congo Media Women’s Association, thanks to which she has made several statements to the International Criminal Court and the United States Senate condemning the sexual violence suffered by women in her country, where an average of 40 people a day have been raped since the start of the conflict.

The 33-year-old has received numerous death threats for condemning sexual violence in her homeland

Also in the running for this year’s Concord Prize, which recognizes work that “contributes outstandingly to the defense of human rights, to the promotion of peace, freedom, solidarity, the protection of heritage and, in general, to the progress of humanity,” were NGO SOS Children's Villages and residents of the Santiago de Compostela neighborhood of Angrois, who helped rescue passengers from the train that derailed there in July 2013.

Last year’s prize went to ONCE, the Spanish national organization for the blind, while other previous winners include Colombian politican Íngrid Betancourt and Unicef.

The Concord Prize was the last of this year’s awards to be announced. The other 2014 winners, who will receive their prizes in a ceremony in Oviedo in October, are US architect Frank O. Gehry (Arts); Argentinean cartoonist Joaquín Salvador Lavado Tejón, aka Quino (Communication and Humanities); chemists Avelino Corma Canós, Mark E. Davis and Galen D. Stucky (Technical & Scientific Research); Irish author John Banville (Literature); the Fulbright Program (International Cooperation); the New York Marathon (Sports); and French academic Joseph Pérez (Social Sciences).