An incident during the thrilling event of Miss World 2016 has been buzzing in international media ever since. Chinese authorities sought to silence Miss World Canada as she was about to expose China’s human rights crimes before millions of viewers from around the world.
Lovingly called the “beauty with purpose” by her millions of fans – Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin – participated in the 2016 Miss World pageant in Washington. Her heartfelt desire was to tell the global television audience about the horror of China’s organ harvesting crime.
The 26-year-old courageous beauty queen, who was born in China and moved to Canada with her mother when she was just 13, has literally “offended” the Chinese Communist regime with her clear stance against the human rights violations happening inside the country of her birth.
For this heroic task she not only risked her Miss World crown, but also the safety and security of her father who is still living in China. Lin said that the Miss World pageant, in which each contestant presented a cause or platform, was another opportunity to speak out and give people hope.
She was due to compete at Miss World last year when it was hosted by China but was barred from entering the country due to her activism against the persecution of Falun Gong, a self-improvement meditation practice that she follows and the Chinese regime has illegally outlawed.
According to much proclaimed independent researches carried out by David Kilgour and David Matas, tens of thousands of innocent Falun Gong practitioners have been killed, so their organs could be harvested and sold for transplants.
This year U.K. based Miss World had allowed her to compete again for the title.
Some U.S. media organizations said the Miss World pageant, which has Chinese corporate sponsorship, has prevented them from speaking to Lin. But she was allowed to speak to The Associated Press on Dec. 14. In the interview the beauty queen spoke frankly about her cause, although she sidestepped questions about whether she faced restrictions.
Voice for the Voiceless
“Everybody is tied economically to China. China’s soft power is so huge that no one really dares to speak up,” said Lin, at a hotel just outside Washington at the National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
She said that tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been killed so their organs could be harvested and sold for transplants. She has spoken out at a U.S. congressional hearing, and since her exclusion from last year’s pageant in China, she has attracted world media attention and given testimony before the British and European parliaments.
“I’m talking about organs being taken from prisoners of conscience, meaning citizens who have not done anything wrong but speak their minds and believe what they believe in.”
“It’s like innocent citizens being killed for their organs and their body parts sold for profits. It’s happening and people need to pay attention to it,” Lin said.
Lin recently starred in a movie about China’s forced organ harvesting from political and religious prisoners – “The Bleeding Edge,” joining with director Leon Lee to call on the international community to step up its response to a practice that has persisted for years despite increased awareness.
Ironically Lin was nearly barred by officials at the Miss World Organization from attending the premier of her movie, however, at the last minute she was allowed in.
“We’re watching this happen. It’s not that people don’t know about it,” Lin told the audience after the film screening. “A lot of governments know about it; the media has written enough reports about it. But why isn’t there enough action?”
The film, unveiled at a premier hosted by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, is a fictional thriller based on actual testimony from Chinese individuals about a Falun Gong practitioner who is imprisoned and later killed so her heart can be harvested. The film catalogues the physical and emotional torture—including rape, beating, and force feeding—of Chinese political prisoners, drawing on accounts relayed to Lin by actual victims.
“I interviewed numerous victims,” Lin, who stars in the film, told the audience. “They shared with me their experiences, not just what the torture was like but also the mental pressure, how their physicality was when they were being shocked by electric batons and their fingers had been punctured [inaudible]. Those are real things that are happening.”
An investigative report issued by Canadian lawmaker David Kilgour, human rights lawyer David Matas, and journalist Ethan Gutmann in June showed that China has illegally harvested organs from prisoners on a massive scale.
According to estimates from the report, which draws on public data from Chinese hospitals, the Chinese regime performs between 60,000 and 120,000 transplants annually, much higher than the 10,000 per year claimed by the Chinese Communist Party. Their are roughly 100,000 transplants unaccounted concluded the researchers.
“The ultimate conclusion is that the Chinese Communist Party has engaged the state in the mass killings of innocents, primarily practitioners of the spiritually based set of exercises, Falun Gong, but also Uyghurs, Tibetans, and select House Christians, in order to obtain organs for transplants,” the researchers wrote.
In June 2016, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution, condemning state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting in China, demanding the Chinese regime immediately end the practice for prisoners of conscience, and directing the State Department to further analyze the issue. The European Parliament passed a similar declaration in July, condemning China’s organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience and calling on the EU’s political entity to do something about it.
Lin told the Washington Free Beacon on Wednesday that the “systematic killing” demands a fiercer response from the international community as well as an explanation from China.
“In the last decade or so, hundreds of thousands of prisoners of conscience, including Falun Gong practitioners, House Christians, Tibetans, and Uyghurs, have been harvested—heart, liver, kidney, cornea—and killed,” Lin told the Free Beacon. “The crime is still going on, despite all the efforts to stop it. I think the film will really help bring awareness to the issue and hopefully end the crime as soon as possible.”
Human Rights Watch
Sophie Richardson, the China director of Human Rights Watch, said that Beijing’s attempt to muzzle Lin highlighted its increasingly aggressive campaign to shape global public opinion about a regime that takes a dim view of Western-style liberties.
“Whether it’s choosing what movies you get to see or what information can be censored online, Chinese authorities are increasingly trying to insist that the restrictions they impose at home become the norm abroad,” she said.
“That they deem it necessary to try to manipulate international beauty pageants would be puzzling or quirky if it weren’t indicative of a far more serious pathology,” she said.
Human rights abuses in China have grown increasingly severe under the leadership of Xi Jinping, even as the United States and European nations have sought to cooperate with China. An annual assessment by U.S. lawmakers and government officials recently stated that China’s violations of international human rights standards demand a stronger response and need to play a bigger role in U.S. foreign policy.