Hong Kong pro-democracy activists appeal to U.S. lawmakers for help before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China about the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong on Tuesday, September 17, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

The activists are urging the United States to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.

Key figures in the pro-democracy movement, including Hong Kong's Demosisto Secretary-General Joshua Wong, testify before the commission established to monitor human rights in China.

[Joshua Wong, Demosisto Secretary-General]: "I'm not aware of anything comparable to this level of discontent against a government in modern history. I was released exactly three months ago on June 17th."

Actress, singer, and activist Denise Ho says, "As a singer and activist from Hong Kong, I have experienced this oppression firsthand. Ever since the Umbrella Movement in 2014, I have been blacklisted by the communist government. My songs and my name are censored on Chinese internet. … Right now, I am facing threats from pro-Beijing supporters and could face arrest and prosecution at any time."

Ho says, "To date, more than fifteen hundred Hong Kongers, the youngest at the age of 12 years old, have been unreasonably arrested. Sadly, it has become a daily occurrence to see youngsters being pinned to the ground with head concussions, if not being knocked unconscious. On the other hand, riot police and plainclothes officers have since early on deliberately hidden their I.D. numbers and warrant cards, making it impossible for us to even certify their legitimacy, let alone hold them accountable."

Hong Kong Higher Education International Affairs Delegation Spokesperson Sunny Cheung says people are sacrificing their lives and “even ready to die for Hong Kong.”

Wong alludes to Hong Kong’s “critical juncture,” with the Chinese military built up across its border.