US lawmakers nominate HK activists for Nobel Prize - RTHK
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US lawmakers nominate HK activists for Nobel Prize

2021-02-04 HKT 02:08
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  • The Nobel Centre is Oslo, where the prize is awarded. File image: Shutterstock
    The Nobel Centre is Oslo, where the prize is awarded. File image: Shutterstock
A bipartisan group of US lawmakers has nominated Hong Kong's democracy movement for the Nobel Peace Prize for a second consecutive year.

Thousands of people, including lawmakers and academics from around the world, can nominate candidates for the prize, which is to be awarded in December. It's often used to put a favoured cause in the spotlight.

Seven members of the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China signed a letter urging the Nobel Peace Prize Committee in Norway to consider Hong Kong for the prize.

"The pro-democracy movement earned overwhelming public support and inspired global admiration," the group, headed by Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democrat Congressman Jim McGovern, said in its letter.

"The protest on June 16, 2019, for example, included over two million participants out of a total population of approximately 7.5 million people living in Hong Kong, making it one of the largest mass protests in history."

They conclude: "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 same group also nominated Hong Kong's democrats last year.

Media reports say that Norwegian lawmakers have nominated veteran democracy activist Martin Lee and online publication the Hong Kong Free Press for this year's award.

Members of Britain's Parliament nominated Alexandra Wong, an activist often seen carrying the British flag at protests in Hong Kong, for the award.

More than 300 people were nominated for the award last year, a record. The prize eventually went to the UN's World Food Programme. The full list of nominees is not publicised for 50 years.

Bookmakers' favourites for this year's award include the World Health Organisation, climate activist Greta Thunberg and New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern.