Citing Political Reasons, Miss Canada Denied Entry to China

27 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

China barred a human rights activist from a global beauty contest—putting her squarely in the spotlight.

HONG KONG: Canada’s China-born Miss World contestant was stopped in Hong Kong on Thursday and denied permission to board a flight to the beauty pageant finals in China. HONG KONG: A Canadian beauty queen lashed out at Beijing Friday, saying she was barred from boarding a flight from Hong Kong to China to compete in a pageant because of her human rights activism.

Anastasia Lin, a 25-year-old actress and the current Miss Canada will not be part of the 110 beauty queens contesting for the Miss World Contest in China. Anastasia Lin, who was crowned Miss World Canada in May, was unable to obtain a visa in advance of her arrival for the contest finals this week in Sanya, a city on the southern Chinese resort island of Hainan. Lin, who told AFP late Thursday that Chinese authorities were suppressing people who “dare to speak their minds”, was speaking from Hong Kong’s international airport where she was blocked from taking a flight bound for mainland China. “I believe the Chinese government is angry at me because my work brings attention to these [human rights] issues,” Lin said at a press conference on Friday morning. “I knew there was a big risk I could be barred but I didn’t want to give in, didn’t want to give up, unless I had exhausted all my options,” she said, adding that she officially remained a contestant in the pageant even if she could not travel to the venue. “Ask them whether they would also bar Olympic athletes from participating in the winter Olympic Games just because they have different views that the Communist Party doesn’t agree with,” she said. Lin told reporters at Hong Kong International Airport that she was prevented from boarding the flight and that she has received no response from the Chinese authorities so far. “There’s no comment from the Chinese embassy. The beauty queen has actively denounced human rights abuses in China, both on film and in public comments, notably its persecution of practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual group banned in mainland China.

In the roughly 24 hours since Lin was refused entry, media outlets the world over have sought out Lin to discuss her viewpoints on China’s abuse of its citizens’ freedoms and rights. I need to figure out what to do next.” Lin testified at a US congressional hearing on religious persecution in China in July. “I want to speak for those in China who are beaten up, burnt and electrocuted for their beliefs,” the Congressional-Executive Commission on China’s website quoted her as saying. Lin moved to Canada as an immigrant when she was a teen and has been vocal about her convictions and her religion – Falun Gong – which China considers as an ‘evil cult’. Canadian citizens can travel to Hong Kong without a visa, and get a 15-day visa on arrival at Hainan, so Lin thought she might be able to enter anyway, she told Quartz.

But after reading about the Tiananmen Square massacre, and the Chinese government’s treatment of the Falun Gong religious group and Tibetan Buddhists, she said she was “shocked.” The more research she did, the more the “truth got uglier and uglier,” she said.

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