Three parliamentarians from the Norwegian Liberal Party have nominated Hong Kong Free Press for a Nobel Peace Prize.
The party’s parliamentary leader Terje Breivik, and his colleagues Jon Gunnes and Ola Elvestuen, made the nomination ahead of Sunday’s deadline for the 2021 prize.
Breivik told Norway’s Adresseavisen newspaper that HKFP was an “incredibly important” outlet that he – and his party members – relied on for the latest updates from Hong Kong.
He added that they chose to nominate an independent news outlet as China’s Xi Jinping had sought to stifle the flow of information out of the city: “Therefore, it is more important than ever that there are news sites that report in English on the trampling of democracy that is now taking place in Hong Kong, regardless of whether Beijing tries to silence the stories of the pro-democracy activists,” Breivik told the paper.
Last year, he nominated the people of Hong Kong for the Nobel.
Press freedom has dwindled in Hong Kong according to the annual Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, falling from 18th place in 2002 to 80th place last year. Since the onset of the national security law last June, the Apple Daily newsroom has been raided and its founder arrested, and local broadcaster RTHK has come under increasingly pressure from the authorities. Last summer, HKFP was denied a work visa for an incoming editor without reason.
In 2019, Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Alexandra Wong – better known as “Grandma Wong” – was nominated for the prize by UK politicians.
The Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee presents the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10 each year. Since 1901, it has been awarded to 107 individuals and 28 organisations.