Martin Lee, 'father of democracy', nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize
by Paul Wang

Lee Chu-ming is one of the founders of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party. A Catholic, the former lawmaker was arrested last April and then released on bail for taking part in an unauthorised protest.


Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Martin Lee Chu-ming, "father of democracy" in Hong Kong and one of the founders of the Democratic Party, is among the candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Two Norwegian parliamentarians Mathilde Tybring-Gjedde and Peter Frølich, both from the Conservative party, nominated Lee.

A devout Catholic, Martin Lee was a Member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong before and after the British colony was returned to China. He is also one of the staunchest defenders of freedom in Hong Kong and mainland China.

The two Norwegian lawmakers said they hope Lee's candidacy will be “a source of inspiration for the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and advocates for freedom around the world.”

Lee, 82, is one of the most prominent public figures to be arrested last April for supporting unauthorised protest against a planned new security law.

Fourteen other people were arrested with Lee, including Jimmy Lai, owner of the Apple Daily newspaper. At present, everyone is out on bail except for Jimmy Lai. Their trial is set for 16 February.

Since 1901, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to people and institutions that have done their best for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of armies and the maintenance and promotion of peace.

Last year the award went to the World Food Programme for its efforts against world hunger.

One of the Chinese laureates of the Prize is writer Liu Xiaobo, who was left terminally ill in prison in Liaoning, and hospitalised only at the last minute.