activism | December 15, 2016

“I’m able to speak freely now”: Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin No Longer Silenced at This Year’s Pageant

Last year, Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin was barred from entering China, the pageant’s location, for her outspoken views on the country’s human rights violations. Now, after being silenced by organizers, she’s been given “a green light” (NYT) to speak freely in this year’s competition.

Over the past few days, major publications—The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and the Toronto Star—have reported on efforts by the Miss World organizers to prevent Lin from speaking publicly during the lead-up to the Miss World pageant. The contest, mainly sponsored by Chinese corporations, was doing its best to keep Lin quiet. Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby even writes of being rushed away from an interview with Lin by pageant officials. 

 

But yesterday, after three weeks of heavy tension, the pageant has finally re-granted her access to the news media.

 

Lin, who will compete in the pageant final on December 18 in Washington, has given impassioned speeches at Oxford University, Washington’s National Press Club, and the Oslo Freedom Forum, and is highly sought after for keynotes—that is, of course, when she’s not busy standing up for universal human rights, or acting in critically acclaimed films like Leon Lee’s The Bleeding Edge

 

Lin is an actress and a beauty queen, but her real passion lies in speaking for those who cannot. She’s especially adamant about protecting rights for those who practice Falun Gong, a peaceful, spiritual tradition with roots in Buddhism. Falun Gong practitioners, activists say, are regularly jailed, abused, and even have their vital organs harvested for transplant to wealthy, well-connected citizens in need.

 

This Sunday’s pageant is projected to have a global TV audience nearing one billion viewers. Let’s hope at least a few take heed of Lin’s message.

 

To book Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin for a keynote, contact The Lavin Agency, her exclusive representative for speaking engagements. 

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