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Miss World Contestant is Barred from Speaking to Press Because of Her Human Rights Advocacy

Updated

Anastasia Lin
Andrew Chin/Getty

Last year, Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin was blocked from boarding a plane to China to attend the Miss World finals due to her outspoken advocacy for human rights in the country.

This year, she is being allowed to compete, but she is being barred from speaking to any press, The New York Times reports. The paper explains that the competition is largely sponsored by Chinese companies, and Lin — who was born in China but has been living in Canada since she was 13 — has been an outspoken critic of Chinese human rights abuses.

The Times also reports that Lin, 26, who is also an actress, was not permitted to attend the American premiere of her film Bleeding Edge, because it has angered the Chinese government with its portrayal of programs that allegedly harvest the organs of Chinese prisoners of conscience.

In addition to not being able to make press appearances or speak to reporters, Lin is also being blocked from discussing human rights at all during the Miss World competition, which is taking place in Washington, D.C. on Sunday.

“They have specifically told her not to talk about human rights during the pageant, even though that is her official platform,” her friend Jacob Wallenberg told The Times. “She is very frustrated.”

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Pageant officials also reportedly refused to allow Lin to meet with a State Department official about the continuing harassment of her father in China, and though they ultimately did consent to her taking the meeting, it was under the condition that a pageant employee be present.

Lin has long been an advocate for freedom of religion in China, and has specifically taken issue with China’s human rights violations and persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, according to her official bio.

While Lin has not been able to speak out since beginning of pageant rehearsals, she has been very vocal over the past year, and has given invited speeches about human rights issues at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the Oxford Union, the Geneva Human Rights Summit at the U.N., and the Oslo Freedom Forum, and has testified in the U.S. Congress, the U.K. Parliament and the Taiwanese Legislative Assembly.