NEW YORK – The family of Ms. Anastasia Lin, the newly crowned Miss World Canada and avid campaigner for human rights in China, was recently harassed and threatened by Chinese security. Lin, a University of Toronto student and budding actress, was crowned Miss World Canada on May 16, and initially her father was receiving upwards of 100 messages a day congratulating him on his daughter’s pageant win. However, days later, Lin received a phone call from her father, who said he had been visited by Chinese security forces at his home in their native Hunan province, and that he had a message to pass along: Lin would have to stop speaking out for persecuted Falun Gong practitioners, or her family in China would be further harassed. Threats by China’s security apparatus against individuals in China and abroad who speak out against human rights abuses are common. Lin, who is a Canadian citizen, says she will not be bowing to the Chinese regime’s demands to stay silent on China’s treatment of Falun Gong practitioners. “We applaud not only Anastasia’s work in publicizing the brutal persecution of Falun Gong in China, but also her resilience in what must be an unsettling time for her and her family,” says Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson Mr. Erping Zhang. “China’s belligerence in trying to hush activists who are trying to shine a light on China’s horrific human rights record can only backfire and generate further condemnation from the international community.” As Miss World Canada, Lin will represent Canada in the Miss World 2015 competition to be held on December 19 in the Chinese resort city of Sanya. It is uncertain whether or not Lin will be able to attend the international beauty pageant. China has in the past repeatedly refused to issue visas to individuals outspoken against the suppression of Falun Gong. In 2006, former Canadian member of parliament David Kilgour and human rights lawyer David Matas, who have jointly investigated the live organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China (report), were denied a visa to enter China to conduct their investigation. The Falun Dafa Information Center calls for the immediate cessation of intimidation and harassment of Lin and her family, and for media outlets in Canada and around the world to publicize their plight. Ms. Anastasia Lin is available for interviews.