Last year, Canadian beauty queen Anastasia Lin was forbidden to attend the 65th annual Miss World pageant in China, where she was born. Lin has been known to speak out against human rights abuse in China, and having her there just wasn’t going to fly. As a consolation prize, however, the event’s British organizers promised Lin a spot in this year’s Miss World finals, which are to take place in Washington, D.C.
But, it seems that Lin is still being ordered to hold her tongue, even at this year’s event in the States. According to the NY Times, there are some important Chinese sponsors on board this year, and they don’t want Lin stirring up any trouble by talking to the media.
To this we say, WTActualF.
Lin, also an actress and classically trained pianist, may be barred from speaking her mind, but we sure aren’t. We’re going to call it like it is: it’s shocking when any organization, be it a country, pageant or whatever, tries to prevent people from speaking out on human rights violations.
Marion Smith, the executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, agrees.
“At this point, nothing should surprise us when it comes to China,” he told the NY Times, “but the fact that the Chinese Communist Party is so threatened by a Canadian beauty queen that they would subvert the operations of an international organization supposedly dedicated to greater global understanding and the free exchange of views is very disappointing.”
Lin has been spreading the word of the alleged organ harvesting of “prisoners of conscience” in China, speaking at events at Oxford University, the National Press Club in Washington and the Oslo Freedom Forum. She also plays a role in the film The Bleeding Edge, a dramatization of the situation in China.
We’ll be following along to see how the 2016 Miss World pageant, which takes place on December 18th, unfolds.