- Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin claims that China is blocking her path to the pageant’s finals
- She said she thinks it is because she spoke up on the human rights issues that are allegedly prevalent in China
- Lin’s father has also told her that some officials have been harassing him about her statements
Canada’s representative for the prestigious beauty pageant, Miss World, claims that China is out to get her after her the statements she made on human rights.
China-born Anastasia Lin said the release of her visa to travel to the beauty pageant at a Chinese resort has been delayed and she thinks it is because she spoke up about the human rights issues that the communist country has.
She said her father has also been harassed by Chinese officials.
“A few days after (I won), he sent me a text message saying ‘You have to stop your human rights work right now, otherwise our family is going to be turned on’ like in the cultural revolution. The security agent had approached him, he said,” Lin recalled.
The actress won her Miss World Canada crown only last May but she said that her passion to speak on human rights have long existed even before she joined the pageant.
“I was interested in human rights way before I even thought of beauty pageants,” The 25-year-old told Reuters on Tuesday.
At a United States Congressional hearing in July, Lin testified on religious persecution. Based on the full text of her statement on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China’s website, she was there to “speak for those in China that are beaten, burned and electrocuted for holding to their beliefs.”
Lin told Reuters that finalists from other countries have received their invitation from the Chinese host. She has not received any letter which is leading her to believe that the country is trying to block her way to the event. The letter allows the finalists to apply for a visa to attend the finals.
“I don’t think this is an administrative issue. It is not. I think this is a matter of principle,” Lin said.
She is a practitioner of Falun Gong, a religious organization that she says is among those that are being repressed in China.
In 1999, Falun Gong was banned in the country after thousands of its members gathered in central Beijing to protest near the Communist Party headquarters. Members of the group claim that over 3,300 Chinese Falun Gong practitioners have died in prison or from abuse in a decade-long crackdown.
Reuters tried to get the side of the officials from China and the Miss World organization but none of them were available to give any comment on the matter.
“Canada is committed to constructive engagement with China on human rights, which is a core component of our governance cooperation with China,” Francois Lasalle, deputy director, media relations division of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs said in an email.
Lin went to Canada when she was 13 years old with her mother.