China Refuses Entry to Miss World Canada, an Advocate for Respect of Faith and Human Rights

Anastasia Lin, a 25-year-old China-born actress who is the winner of Miss World Canada 2015, was stopped in Hong Kong as she was barred from boarding a connecting flight to mainland China where the beauty pageant finals is scheduled to take place on December 19th.

Ms. Lin was born in Hunan, China, and moved to Canada at the age of 13 with her mother. She majored in International Relations and Theater/Acting at the University of Toronto when she became interested in the human rights situation in China, her homeland.

Ms. Lin, who is a practitioner of Falun Gong, a religious group that is repressed in China, appeared in a Canadian movie “The Bleeding Edge” that will be released in 2016. In the movie, she acted as a Falun Gong practitioner who was tortured in a reeducation-through-labor camp. She won the Miss World Canada title as her advocacy of human rights and religious freedom was highly appreciated. At the contest, she said as follows:

If the government tries to forcibly take it (human rights and religious freedom) away, I take it as an assault on humanity. I’d love to speak up for those who don’t have a voice, and use my freedom to advocate for their freedom.


China’s Pressure Against Lin’s Father

Soon after that, the fact that Lin’s father in China started to receive threats from Chinese state security agents came to light. At the U.S. Congressional hearing on religious persecution in China in July, Lin testified that the Chinese government tried to silence her by intimidating her father and said as follows:

We must overcome fear and courageously continue to speak for those in China who are oppressed. Otherwise, suppression of human rights in China will spread with no end.


Lin Is Unable to Enter China as “Persona Non Grata”

The Miss World finals competition will be held in the southern Chinese city of Sanya in December. Unlike all of the other contestants, Lin did not receive an invitation letter from the Chinese organizers of this event, and therefore was unable to obtain a Chinese visa. The Chinese embassy in Canada offered an explanation that it declared her “persona non grata”, and refused to grant her a visa.

Nevertheless, she decided to enter China to take part in the beauty pageant finals. She went to Hong Kong with the hope of obtaining a tourist visa upon arrival, but again the Chinese authorities refused to issue a visa to her. Lin gave a press conference in Hong Kong on November 27th, claiming that the Chinese government blocked her from traveling to Sanya for the contest due to her outspoken advocacy for human rights.


A Chance to Step Up International Criticism

The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games sparked global protests against human rights abuses China had been committing against its citizens like the Tibetans. Ironically, the more China tries to make its influence felt by enticing international festivals, the more concerned people become about the country’s human rights issues.

It is essential to take this opportunity to cooperate in shaping international opinion that never tolerate China’s human-rights suppression.

China Refuses Entry to Miss World Canada, an Advocate for Respect of Faith and Human Rights
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