Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin Is Blocked From Entering 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 Miss World contestant was denied permission to board a flight to the beauty pageant finals in China on Thursday, a move she said was punishment for speaking out against human rights abuses in the country. 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.

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. 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. Herself a practitioner of Falun Gong — which emerged in the 1990s combining Taoist philosophy, meditation and qigong exercises — Lin testified in July at a US congressional hearing on religious persecution in China.

Lin told US lawmakers she “wanted to speak for those in China that are beaten, burned and electrocuted for holding to their beliefs — people in prison who eat rotten food with blistered fingers because they dare have convictions.” “He received hundreds of congratulatory messages. 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 a customs official told her over the phone that she was “not eligible” to travel there. “They never gave me a clear denial until yesterday, and Miss World never disqualified me from the competition,” she said, so she thought she would try. 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. Lin, now 25, has been a vocal supporter of human rights in China for some years, so much so that it might have been more surprising if the Chinese authorities actually let her in.

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