WASHINGTON—A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers has nominated Hong Kongs Pro-Democracy Movement for the Nobel Peace Prize of 2020 to recognize the “countless and often anonymous individuals [who] risked their lives, their health, their jobs, and their education to support a better future for Hong Kong.”
“This prize would honor the millions of people in Hong Kong whose bravery and determination have inspired the world,” the lawmakers told the Nobel Peace Prize Committee in a letter published on Feb. 4.
The letter was co-signed by U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern (D-Mass.) and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the chairman and co-chairman, respectively, of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), along with six other senators and representatives.
The lawmakers nominated the pro-democracy movement in recognition of the efforts of Hongkongers to protect the citys autonomy, human rights, and the rule of law as guaranteed in the Sino-British Declaration and Hong Kongs Basic Law.
In March 2019, a series of large-scale, pro-democracy protests began in Hong Kong in opposition to a proposed extradition bill that would have put people in Hong Kong at risk of extradition to mainland China, where arbitrary detention, lack of due process, torture, and other serious human rights abuses have been documented.
The protest on June 16, 2019, was one the largest mass demonstrations in history, drawing more than 2 million participants out of around 7.5 million people living in Hong Kong. The protesters came from a broad spectrum of Hongkongers, including students, retirees, women, teachers, flight attendants, bankers, lawyers, social workers, entrepreneurs, medical professionals, migrant domestic workers, and civil servants.
“The entire city is engaged in a movement both unique and inspiring in its size, scope, and creativity,” the letter states. “The protesters are savvy and have used peaceful and innovative methods of expression including art, music, lasers, projections on buildings, and joining hands across Hong Kong.”