22 February 2018
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  • » 02/02/2018, 09.34


    Occupy Central leaders nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

    Paul Wang

    They are Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow. They are the first Hong Kong personalities to be nominated for the prize and among the youngest. Praised for their nonviolent and peaceful commitment to human rights in the territory. The power of Beijing against the prize.

    Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow, three of the leaders of the Occupy Central movement have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Their names have been handed over to the Nobel Committee of Oslo by a group from the US Congress and will almost certainly irritate China.

    It is the first time that Hong Kong personalities have been nominated for the international award.

    A letter from US MPs to the Committee justifies the decision "in recognition of [the trio’s] peaceful efforts to bring political reform and self-determination to Hong Kong and protect the autonomy and freedom guaranteed Hong Kong in the Sino-British Joint Declaration".

    The three activists, who would also be among the youngest to receive the award, are praised for their "civic courage, extraordinary leadership and an unwavering commitment to a free and prosperous Hong Kong that upholds the rule of law, political freedoms and human rights".

    The Occupy Central movement gathered hundreds of thousands of youths and adults from the territory for almost two months in a sit-in in the central areas of Hong Kong in response to Beijing's decision to block any democratic development of the territory, in contravention of the agreements previously made with Great Britain, at the time of Hong Kong's return to the motherland.

    It is also called the “umbrella movement” after young people used umbrellas to protect themselves from the water cannons and pepper spray used by police.

    The long sit-in took place in non-violence, between studies and debates and even keeping the environment clean. Some Chinese parliamentarians have judged it "counter-revolutionary", and have called for the army intervention, accusing the young men of being maneuvered by "foreign powers". But many democratic activists in China have appreciated it as a courageous way of defending human rights.

    It is likely that Beijing uses all its power and diplomacy to block the nomination, as it did in the past for the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the writer Liu Xiaobo, left to die in prison for his writings on democracy.

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    See also

    17/01/2018 11:01:00 HONG KONG-CHINA
    Joshua Wong sentenced to three months in prison

    The Occupy Central activist guilty, along with 14 others, of contempt of court for blocking clearance of a protest site. Wong may present himself in the parliamentary elections.  Beijing pushes for maximum sentence. " They can lock up our bodies but they can't lock up our minds".

    06/02/2018 14:37:00 HONG KONG – CHINA
    Occupy Central leaders released with a 'warning'

    Today's ruling overturns that of August, but promises harsher penalties for "future offenders". For Wong, there's nothing to celebrate. The court’s decision is a "a sugar-coated severe case".

    21/08/2017 14:30:00 HONG KONG
    Tens of thousands protest conviction of student activists

    The protest rally was the biggest since 2014. Foreign pro-democracy activists and politicians criticise the court's decision, following the government’s appeal. Hong Kong’s chief secretary rejects the accusations, claiming that judicial independence is the foundation of the city's success.

    18/08/2017 14:57:00 HONG KONG
    Stiffer sentences for Joshua Wong and two other pro-democracy activists

    Last year the court sentenced Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow to community service, but the decision was deemed too lenient for the Hong Kong government. A prison sentence of more than three months bars people from taking part in elections for five years. For human rights activists, the court decision was politically motivated in order to silence the three and deter further protests.

    02/10/2017 11:49:00 HONG KONG - CHINA
    Hong Kong, thousands march for democracy on Chinese national holiday

    A day not for celebration, but for "national sadness" for the "status of the rule of law in Hong Kong." The memory of the three young Occupy Central activists sentenced to months in jail by will of the city government. "Political persecution" also for co-founders of umbrella movement. Demonstrators call for the resignation of justice secretary Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, branded Beijing’s "puppet".

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