, KINSHASA, Sep 9- The DR Congo’s UN mission chief on Wednesday slammed a government ban on an acclaimed film about Congolese surgeon Denis Mukwege, who has treated thousands of women raped during conflict.
Martin Kobler, the German head of the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, believed the ban on Belgian film “The Man Who Mends Women” was “an inadmissible attack on freedom of expression,” said the MONUSCO mission’s public information chief Charles Bambara.
“Mr Kobler therefore urges the Congolese authorities to come back on their decision,” Bambara told a news conference.
Film-maker Thierry Michel’s movie follows Mukwege’s efforts to repair the physical and psychological injuries of the victims of sexual violence by armed forces and militia groups in eastern DRC against women.
Early this month, the DRC’s media minister, Lambert Mende, said the film was banned because of “a clear intent to harm and sully the image of our army and no country in the world could tolerate it.”
Kobler, who has increasingly been at odds with the authorities since his arrrival in July 2013, said movie goers should be “left to judge for themselves the relevance of the film’s arguments to get an idea of the drama undergone by thousands of Congolese women raped” in the east of the country.
The film that has been widely shown around the world for six months follows gynaecologist Mukwege in the Panzi Hospital he founded in 1999, and which he has run in the South Kivu city of Bukavu while operating on several rape victims each day.
Rival forces fighting for control of the vast mineral riches in eastern DR Congo have used mass rape for decades to terrorise the local population into submission.
Mukwege was awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov rights prize last November.