Magazine August 15, 2016, Issue

Dealing with Darkness in Congo

Dr. Denis Mukwege (Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty)
The work of a singular doctor.

Denis Mukwege is one of the most honored men in the world. In 2013, he received the French Legion of Honor. The next year, he received the Sakharov Prize from the European Parliament. The next year, he received an honorary doctorate from Harvard. Yet, in a sense, the work he does is thankless. It must rank near the worst work in the world, impossible to repay. And saintly to do.

Mukwege is a doctor in the country that calls itself “the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” (Informally, people say “Congo.”) He treats victims of rape, often of gang rape. A gynecologist,

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