A bipartisan group of legislators in the United States has nominated the Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Movement for the Nobel Peace Prize to “honor their bravery and determination that have inspired the world.”
In a letter to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee released on Feb. 3, nine U.S. lawmakers said that the movement “earned overwhelming public support and inspired global admiration,” citing “one of the largest mass protests in history” held on June 16, 2019 that included over two million participants out of the estimated 7.5 million residents in Hong Kong.
The nomination aims to “commemorate all those who have built and maintained human rights and democracy in Hong Kong since 1997 and give voice to those fighting in recent years against the erosion of rights and freedoms guaranteed to Hong Kong’s citizens by international treaty and the city’s constitution,” the lawmakers across party lines wrote in the letter dated last Jan. 31.
The lawmakers, led by Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Representative Jim McGovern who serve as co-chairs of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, also noted in the letter the National Security Law that Beijing imposed last year “to actively suppress voices for human rights and democracy.”
Nearly 100 people in Hong Kong have been arrested under the Security Law, including pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow.
“We hope that the Nobel Committee will continue to shine a light on those struggling for peace and human rights in China and we believe the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong is deserving of recognition this year,” the letter said.
The nomination comes months after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned against “politicizing” the award, particularly giving such an award to protesters in Hong Kong.
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