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US jails Chinese student for threatening pro-democracy schoolmate

Legend, Xiaolei Wu sits down for an interview with the FBI

In the United States, a Chinese student was sentenced to nine months in prison for stalking and threatening a Chinese student who posted pro-democracy leaflets on campus.

The leaflets, posted at Berklee College of Music in Boston in late 2022, said: “We want freedom… We want democracy, we want to love, to stand with the Chinese people.”

In response, Xiaolei Wu said he would “cut off (the woman’s) hands.”

A federal judge ordered the 26-year-old deported after serving his sentence.

“What Mr. Wu did in weaponizing the authoritarian nature of the People’s Republic of China to threaten this woman is incredibly disturbing,” said Jodi Cohen, who heads the Boston division of the FBI that investigated the case.

The pro-democracy leaflets were posted in late October 2022 during a wave of activism among overseas Chinese.

The court heard Wu, who studied jazz at university, communicated directly with his victim via email and social media platforms including WeChat and Instagram.

He told her that he had informed Chinese authorities of his actions and that China’s public security agency would “welcome” the victim’s family, the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts said Wednesday.

He also attempted to track her down and publicly posted her email address, “in the hope that others might abuse the victim online,” authorities said.

At his sentencing in January of this year, Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy said Wu’s “violent threats accomplished his goal of instilling fear” in his victim and others who might want to s express against the Chinese government.

“Our office and the Department of Justice will not tolerate efforts to intimidate and threaten people in order to suppress their First Amendment rights. Censorship and campaigns of repression will never be tolerated here,” he said.

In the United States, the charge of cyberstalking carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 (£202,000).

The same penalties apply to the charge of interstate transmission of threatening communications.

News Source :
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