Norwegian Politician Nominated the ‘People of Hong Kong’ for 2020 Nobel Peace Prize

nobel peace prize

A Norwegian politician nominated the “people of Hong Kong” for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.

Guri Melby, a member of the Storting, Norway’s unicameral parliament, announced her nomination in a Twitter post on Oct. 15.

“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,” she wrote. “I hope this will be further encouragement to the movement: #StandWithHongKong.”

A nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize may be submitted by anyone who falls under one of the following categories:

  • Members of national assemblies and national governments (cabinet members/ministers) of sovereign states as well as current heads of states
  • Members of The International Court of Justice in The Hague and The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague
  • Members of l’Institut de Droit International
  • Members of the Executive Committee of the international board of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
  • University professors, professors emeriti and associate professors of history, social sciences, law, philosophy, theology, and religion; university rectors and university directors (or their equivalents); directors of peace research institutes and foreign policy institutes
  • Persons who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Members of the main board of directors or its equivalent of organizations that have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Current and former members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee (proposals by current members of the Committee to be submitted no later than at the first meeting of the Committee after 1 February)
  • Former advisers to the Norwegian Nobel Committee

Nobel Peace Prize Laureates are then selected by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which consists of five members appointed by the Storting. For this reason, the Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, unlike Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Economics, which are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden.

Last week, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to “achieve peace and international cooperation” with Eritrea, ending a 20-year military stalemate that succeeded the countries’ border war from 1998 to 2000. Ahmed will receive the award in December, which includes some 9 million Swedish crowns ($900,000), according to the BBC.

A Norwegian politician nominated the "people of Hong Kong" for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on April 24, 2019. Image via Xinhua

Melby, who visited Hong Kong last month, chose to nominate the city’s people for their “brave efforts” in fighting for democracy.

“I chose to nominate the people of Hong Kong, more specifically the (anti-)extradition bill movement because it is the democracy movement in its entirety which deserves recognition for its brave efforts,” the 38-year-old told the South China Morning Post. “I realize that the government of Hong Kong has tried to paint protesters as violent hooligans, but my impression from the streets of Hong Kong is that these are ordinary people, protesting against a city government bent on curtailing their freedoms.”

According to SCMP, the politician said that she was more “appalled” by the Hong Kong police’s “heavy-handed methods” than the violence spurred by radical protesters.

“Although I left Hong Kong with a heavy heart, knowing that the people will have tough times ahead defending their freedoms, I was reassured by their unflinching commitment to the rule of law, freedom of the press and democracy. I hope this peace prize nomination helps to reverberate that message from the people of Hong Kong to the rest of the world,” she told the outlet.

A Norwegian politician nominated the "people of Hong Kong" for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.
Guri Melby. Image via Flickr / Liv Aarberg (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This is not the first time Hong Kong demonstrators were nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Last year, members of the U.S. Congress nominated activists from the city’s 2014 Umbrella Movement, including Joshua Wong.

As of this writing, Melby’s tweet has received more than 9,000 likes and 2,500 comments, many from Hong Kong citizens who expressed gratitude for her support:

China has since responded to Melby’s nomination, describing it as “foreign interference,” according to the Hong Kong Free Press.

“Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs and no foreign government or individuals have the right to interfere,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters, adding that “relevant people” should be “objective and just” as well as “cautious.”

Featured Images via Flickr / Liv Aarberg (Left, Cropped; (CC BY-SA 2.0)) and Flickr / Studio Incendo (Right, Cropped; (CC BY 2.0))

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