Wang Dan, one of the student leaders of the Tiananmen Square democracy movement of 1989, said he has decided to establish a work group to nominate the jailed youth leaders of the 2014 Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong for the Nobel Peace Prize, hk01.com reports.
In a statement on his Facebook page on Sunday, Wang said he would not stand by idly if leaders of the protest movement were oppressed.
Now that Joshua Wong Chi-fung and 15 other young activists have been given prison sentences, Wang said it’s about time he honored his promise.
He revealed that he is now liaising with different stakeholders to form a work group to nominate these activists for the Nobel Peace Prize and urges pan-democratic legislators to do their part by signing a petition to the Nobel Prize Committee.
Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong, vice chairperson of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, said in an interview on Monday that he has yet to receive an invitation from Wang to discuss the issue.
Tsoi said the proposed Nobel Peace Prize nomination should be discussed thoroughly.
The Civic Party also has yet to receive an invitation, but will hold a meeting within the party to discuss the matter.
Party leader Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu said the discussion would mainly be about the details of the nomination, as there is still very little understanding of how the nomination works or what are the criteria used in choosing the recipient of the award.
Wang has mentioned a few legislators he said he would invite to sign the petition and join the workgroup, and they include Claudia Mo, Wu Chi-wai, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, and James To Kun-sun.
Mo, which she has yet to receive an official invitation, said she thinks it is a good idea to nominate the activists to help boost Hong Kong’s confidence in the fight for democracy, freedom, human rights, and law and order.’
However, she said it is best to have a thorough discussion among democrats and ask for the permission of the individual activists through their lawyers.
A person from the pan-democratic camp, who asked not to be identified, said the Chinese government was immensely hurt when the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who died last month, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, and therefore another nomination for democracy activists would infuriate Beijing.
The three young activists have already put their family through a lot of pressure, and once their case gains international attention, they might be forced to leave Hong Kong once and for all.
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