Anastasia Lin, Canada's China-born Miss World contestant, said on Tuesday that she is being harassed by China because she has spoken out about human rights abuses in the communist country.
According to The Guardian, Lin's visa to travel to the beauty pageant in a Chinese resort has been delayed and her father has been harassed by Chinese officials.
Lin was crowned Miss World Canada in May and said her decision to speak out about Chinese abuse of human rights may have cost her a chance to attend the Dec. 19 contest final in Sanya, China.
— Politicoscope (@Politicoscope) November 11, 2015
The 25-year-old actress testified in July at a U.S. Congressional hearing on religious persecution in China.
In her testimony, she said she wanted to "speak for those in China that are beaten, burned and electrocuted for holding to their beliefs," according to the full text of her statement on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China's website.
"I was interested in human rights way before I even thought of beauty pageants," Lin, 25, told Reuters on Tuesday.
While other contestants have received their invitation that allows them to apply for a visa to attend the finals, Lin said she has received no letter and believes China is trying to block her from the event.
"I don't think this is an administrative issue. It is not. I think this is a matter of principle," said Lin.
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Anastasia Lin told the Los Angeles Times she believes organizers of the pageant should relocate the competition should she be refused entry into China.
“This is not just about me – it is a matter of principle,” she said. “China is also trying to silence academics and journalists by denying them visas. This has been going on for a long time.
"I want to be able to go to China, and I want Chinese people to see my face [on TV] speaking up for them," she added. "It’s not wrong to stay true to one’s conscience.”
Officials from China and the Miss World organization were not available to comment, and a Canadian contest official did not return calls about Anastasia Lin's situation.