Washington, United States:
US lawmakers have nominated Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement for the Nobel Peace Prize and called the activists a global inspiration as they endure action by Beijing.
In a letter to the Nobel Committee submitted by February 1 and published on Wednesday, nine lawmakers across party lines cited the estimate that more than two million people took to the streets on June 16, 2019.
With a population of 7.5 million in Hong Kong, this is “one of the largest mass protests in history,” said the letter, led by Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Representative Jim McGovern, co-chair of the Executive Commission of Congress China, which evaluates human rights.
“This award would honor their valor and determination that inspired the world,” they wrote.
“We hope that the Nobel Committee will continue to shed some light on those who are fighting for peace and human rights in China, and we believe the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong deserves recognition this year.”
Lawmakers said it expected more Hong Kong democracy activists to be convicted in the coming months “just to peacefully express their political views”.
Beijing passed a tough security law last year to tackle disagreements after the financial center turmoil, which was promised a separate system before Britain returned territory to China in 1997.
Those affected include 24-year-old Joshua Wong, one of the city’s best-known advocates of democracy, who has been charged with subversion.
Legislators recommended that the award should be given to everyone who has campaigned for human rights and democracy in Hong Kong since 1997.
Elected lawmakers around the world, as well as governments, academics and international judges, have the right to nominate candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize, and referrals do not mean they will be selected.
China put heavy pressure on Norway, whose parliament appoints members of the Nobel Committee, after the 2010 award went to incarcerated dissident Liu Xiaobo, who was still in state custody seven years later after his death.