A Norwegian lawmaker nominated the Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrators on Tuesday for the 2020 Noble Peace Prize over their defense of freedom of speech and democracy.
Guri Melby, a politician for Norway’s Liberal Party, wrote on Twitter that she hoped the nomination would provide the city’s millions of protesters “further encouragement” as they seek to force through their demands on China and Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing leadership.
“I have nominated the people of Hong Kong, who risk their lives and security every day to stand up for freedom of speech and basic democracy, to the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 I hope this will be further encouragement to the movement,” Melby wrote on Twitter.
I have nominated the people of Hong Kong, who risk their lives and security every day to stand up for freedom of speech and basic democracy, to the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 I hope this will be further encouragement to the movement: #StandWithHongKong https://t.co/HffCZcbwfc
— Guri Melby (@gurimelby) October 15, 2019
Speaking to the Norwegian paper Aftenposten, Melby explained that their efforts to push back against Chinese authoritarianism were important for safeguarding freedom all over the world.
“The importance of what they are doing extends far beyond Hong Kong, both in the region and in the rest of the world,” she told the newspaper. “I specify that the nomination goes to the movement that is making these demonstrations happen. I was in Hong Kong last week, and people I spoke to there really emphasized that this is a social movement.”
Hong Kong has been rocked by massive protests since June, triggered initially by the Hong Kong legislature entertaining a bill that would have given China the power to extradite anyone present in Hong Kong. Chief Executive Lam recently pledged to scrap the bill, although the demonstrations have now morphed into a wider pushback against China’s increasing control and interference over the supposedly autonomous territory.
It is not the first time that Melby has taken a stand against China’s communist regime. In May, she was barred from entering the Norwegian parliament wearing a T-shirt featuring the Chinese letters for “freedom” during a visit to the country by Chinese Politburo Standing Committee member Li Zhanshu.
A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers last year nominated activists Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, Alex Chow, and the wider pro-democracy Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. They lost out to Congolese gynecologist Dr. Denis Mukwege and former Yazidi Islamic State captive Nadia Murad for their contributions toward combating wartime sexual violence.
Despite widespread speculation that Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg would win the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, the award was given to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali “for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea.”