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Canada's Miss World Contestant Says China Is Blocking Her From The Competition

Anastasia Lin says the window is closing for her to get approved to compete in Miss World.

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Miss World Canada, Anastasia Lin, says China is refusing to issue her travel documents to take part in the final there next month. She believes she's being punished for her human rights activism.

Pierre Gautreau / Via Facebook: missworldcanada2015

Lin, who was crowned Miss World Canada earlier this year, says she's still waiting for her invitation letter even though other contestants from around the world have already gotten theirs. Without it, she can't apply for her travel visa in time to compete for the title of Miss World.

"The last day, absolutely the last day that I can receive this invitation letter and actually get a visa, is Nov. 19," she told BuzzFeed Canada.

"If I don't have my visa by Nov. 20 then I'm basically disqualified."

Lin was born in China but moved to Canada with her mother when she was 13 years old.

anastasialin.com

The 25-year-old actress from Toronto says she only became aware of human rights concerns in China after she moved away, and she wants to do her part to spread awareness.

"At one point, it just hit me: I'm a Canadian kid, I know English. A lot of these people have language and culture barriers, and they can't really reach out to mainstream society. I wanted to get their stories heard, and I'm participating in [the Miss World competition] for that."

She has been especially forceful in defending Falun Gong, a religious movement the Chinese government views as a cult.

Lin has acted in films about the abuse of Falun Gong members and spoke about China's repression of the group to a U.S. Congressional committee in July.

Lin says authorities have approached her father, who is still in China, in an attempt to intimidate her and her family.

"My dad got the message back in May, when I was first crowned. He said the security forces approached him and told him I should stop my human rights work," Lin said.

He was warned the family would be ostracized and branded as public enemies, Lin said.

Lin is still hopeful she can compete in the pageant. She says the Miss World Organization — which uses the slogan "beauty with a purpose" — needs to do more to fight for her inclusion.

Chris Helgren / Reuters

"No way an international organization should allow its contestants to be abused like this, bullied," she said. "This is not a visa administrative issue, it's a matter of principle."

The Chinese embassy in Ottawa did not respond to BuzzFeed Canada's interview request in time for this story.

The 65th annual Miss World competition takes place Dec. 19 in Sanya, China.

Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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