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United States lawmakers nominate Hong Kong pro-democracy activists for Nobel Peace Prize

United States lawmakers nominate Hong Kong pro-democracy activists for Nobel Peace Prize

Hong Kong pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, Alex Chow and the entire Umbrella Movement were nominated by U.S. lawmakers for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, was returned to China in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" agreement that ensured its freedoms, including a separate legal system.

While the protests failed to extract political concessions and camps were eventually forcibly dispersed by police, the movement focused global attention on Hong Kong's democratic promise and stood as a litmus test of Beijing's tolerance for dissent in the financial hub.

BEIJING (AP) - China on Friday criticized U.S. Congress members who nominated Hong Kong's 2014 pro-democracy protest movement and three of its most prominent student leaders for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Joshua Wong is now out on bail but has been in and out of Jail the past several months, standing trial for multiple charges related to the 2014 Umbrella Movement.

Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow, who spearheaded the 2014 Umbrella Movement, were nominated for the 2018 prize in a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, signed by 12 politicians, led by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Christopher Smith, who lead the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

"This nomination could not be more timely as Hong Kong's long-cherished autonomy continues to erode", Mr Rubio wrote.

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The Court of Appeal sentenced them to six to eight months in prison in August a year ago after the Department of Justice applied for judicial reviews to have a lower court's decision to spare them of jail terms overturned.

Wong had previously been jailed for six months in August 2017.

Law, who helped found the party Demosisto, won a seat in LegCo and then had it stripped when his oath of allegiance was found invalid by a Hong Kong court.

The letter from the lawmakers commended the Nobel Prize committee for their "past willingness to fearless the displeasure and outright retribution of the Chinese Communist party", in reference to the award given to dissident human rights activist Liu Xiaobo in 2010, reports the Guardian.

The Nobel Peace Prize was endowed by Swedish industrialist and inventor, Alfred Nobel and was first handed out in 1901.

Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow, as well as the "Umbrella Movement", were nominated by a group of US Congress members for the prestigious prize, a move Beijing denounced on Friday as a form of "meddling" in its internal affairs. They claimed her party advocates changing Hong Kong's administrative system by referendum, which they said is in violation of the territory's Basic Law, or mini-constitution.


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