Anastasia Lin, who was recently crowned Miss World Canada, says that her father living in China has started receiving threats from Chinese security agents complaining about her human rights advocacy. Lin, who won the national beauty pageant on May 16, made the accusations in an op-ed published by The Washington Post.
Born in Hunan, 25-year-old Lin campaigned for the title of Miss World Canada on a human rights platform, pledging to continue her work in Canada for religious freedom and that she’d be a “voice for the voiceless,” Epoch Times reports.
Lin moved to Canada with her mother at the age of 13 and practices Falun Gong. A graduate from the University of Toronto, the model has built a career acting in films that expose human rights issues in her native China.
Not long after the competition, Lin learned from family and friends that news stories about her started disappearing from the internet in China and that any stories mentioning her human rights advocacy were blocked.
Shortly after, Lin got text messages from her father who is living in Changsha, Hunan province, telling her that security forces were threatening to put him through a Cultural Revolution-style struggle session.
Despite the threats, Lin vowed to carry on her work. In the article she wrote:
Many people have asked me why I have continued speaking out after my father was threatened. The answer is simple: If I allow myself to be intimidated, then I am complicit in continued human rights abuses. If I and others who share my concerns allow ourselves to be silenced, the Communist Party will continue abusing its people with impunity.
Lin believes that her silence would not protect her father. “Even if he can’t understand or accept why I speak out, I know he is safer in the light of international attention than in the shadows sought by the authoritarians.”
“Leaving China doesn’t make one free, not when friends and family there become hostages. Freedom comes when we stop accepting tyranny and challenge those who would preserve it,” Lin wrote in her article.
Lin plans to participate at the 2015 Miss World Competition in the southern province of Sanya, assuming authorities let her back in that is.
By Lucy Liu
[Image via Facebook]