Young Physician Jailed for Reporting 30 Cases of Rape

Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Featured

 

Meet Mukadi, Torture Survivor from the DRC

Dr. Mukadi Papy was a first-year physician at a clinic in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), when he discovered at least 30 cases of women who had all been raped and brutalized by DRC soldiers. All these women sought treatment for pelvic pain and displayed similar symptoms, and when he spoke to them about their medical history he learned about the sexual violence.

Against the advice of fellow physicians and hospital colleagues who advised the young physician not to risk his new position at the hospital, Dr. Papy collected evidence and documentation to support his letter of complaint to the Ministry of Health.

The DRC has been described by the United Nations as the “Rape Capital of the World” and a country where state officials are often linked to cases of gender violence. Though aware of the consequences of speaking out against DRC’s soldiers, Dr. Papy was determined to end the cycle of abuse, and expose his evidence in order to create public outrage and political change. Instead, he was summoned by the Department of Public Health, and was told to surrender all original medical files, so that they could be destroyed. When he refused to comply, the local authorities arrested him. In detention, he was chained to a pipe, beaten, and shocked with a device attached to a car battery. He lost consciousness and awoke the next morning in a hospital bed.

Today Dr. Papy lives in Los Angeles after additional government threats forced him to finally flee his home country of DRC. Over the past eighteen months, PTV has assisted Dr. Papy by linking him with a pro-bono attorney, assisting him in finding low-income housing and providing him with medical care, counseling, and food. In November 2014 he was granted asylum by the U.S. government. In spite of all that he has had to endure, Mukadi does not regret his decision to speak out and expose the repetitive gender violence by local soldiers.

Dr. Papy, like many PTV clients, struggle with the reality that their profession requires additional education or licensing they did not anticipate.  Dr. Papy is currently working as a part time security guard to support himself while he studies for the U.S. Medical License Exam (USMLE). His goal is to be a practicing physician again within the next two years.

 

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