Anastasia Lin was born in China but moved to Canada when she was 13 and has since become a Canadian citizen. She was chosen twice to represent Canada in the Miss World competition, and had the option to choose the path of glamour and fame over human rights and freedom — but she chose the second. This canadian beauty queen has been raising her voice against human rights abuses in China for the last few years and remains a headache for China.
Lin was blocked from entering China by Chinese authorities back in 2015 when the Miss World competition took place in China. Again in 2016, Lin was a finalist in the Miss World contest held in Washington, D.C., but she was not allowed to talk to reporters without risking getting kicked out of the pageant. Not only this, Lin was blocked from attending the U.S. premiere of her own movie — The Bleeding Edge, in which she has played the lead role. The film sheds light on the biggest genocide and crime of our modern world: forced organ harvesting.
Why is this happening?
Anastasia Lin, 29, is an actress and a human rights activist on top of being a pageant queen, and she has been a vocal critic of the Chinese government’s human rights abuses. China’s rough attitude towards this courageous beauty queen is due to the fact that Lin is a vocal supporter and an adherent of Falun Gong meditation, which is being persecuted and silenced by the Chinese Communist Party since the last 20 years.
While Lin wishes to advocate for human rights and freedom for everyone, it was her personal experience of Falun Gong that first inspired her activism. This peaceful meditation practice has been banned in China, and it is believed that many practitioners were made prisoners without trial and tortured cruelly. Falun Gong (also called Falun Dafa) is a spiritual practice based on the universal principle of being truthful, kind and tolerant. But sadly, it is being suppressed and persecuted in China since 1999, while it is hugely popular in more than 114 countries around the world, including India.
Apart from her acting and human rights advocacy, Lin went on to become a celebrity in her own right. Lin has also been listed as one of the top “25 under 25” by MTV Fora, a list that included Malala, Selena Gomez, and Kylie Jenner. Flare magazine featured her as a “Top 60 under 30,” in the activist category, and Marie Claire declared her “The Badass Beauty Queen” in an interview about her work, after her appearance at an Oxford University debate.
“Totalitarian regimes scruple at nothing — not the political manipulation of international beauty contests, not the criminalizing of quiet meditation, not even the blackmail of a father to break his daughter’s spirit. The courage to resist such regimes isn’t easy to come by. Canada’s beauty queen has it in such a gallant measure that China fears to let her speak from a Chinese stage. Some other young woman may be crowned Miss World, but it is Anastasia Lin who has been ennobled,” said Jeff Jacoby, writing in The Boston Globe.
Lin participated in the Oslo Freedom Forum, giving a speech about Falun Gong persecution, illegal organ harvesting in China, and freedom of belief. Jay Nordlinger of National Review wrote that Lin was “an extraordinary person” and produced a podcast interview with her.
The Chinese government has not left out any trick to stop Lin from exposing its crimes, but none of this has truly kept Lin silent. She has found other platforms for her advocacy and the spotlight on her only seems to be getting bigger as the attempts at censorship get more aggressive.