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Chinese music student in US to be sentenced for cyber-threatening pro-democracy activist

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(TibetanReview.net, Jan27’24) A federal jury in Boston has on Jan 25 convicted a Chinese music student on charges of stalking and harassing one of his Chinese classmates after she had posted flyers in support of freedom and democracy in China around the campus of the Berklee College of Music in the fall of 2022. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Apr 24.

Xiaolei Wu, 26, was convicted following a four-day jury trial on one count of cyberstalking and one count of interstate transmissions of threatening communication.

He was arrested and charged by criminal complaint in Dec 2022 and subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury in Jan 2023.

It all began on Oct. 22, 2022, when Wu was attending college and an individual, named as Zooey, posted a flier on or near the college’s campus which said, “Stand with Chinese People,” as well as, “We Want Freedom,” and “We Want Democracy.”

It occurred at a time when many Chinese around the world were inspired by the courage of a lone man in Beijing. The man, Peng Lifa, hung a large protest banner on a bridge on a busy street in the country’s capital in Oct 2022 with similar slogans, such as “We don’t want [dictatorial] leaders, we want elections” and “We don’t want Cultural Revolution, we want reform.”

Beginning on or about Oct 22, 2022, and continuing until Oct 24, 2022, Wu made a series of communications via WeChat, email and Instagram directed towards the victim who posted the flier, said a US Justice Department press release Jan 26.

Among other things, Wu said, “Post more, I will chop your bastard hands off.” He also told the victim that he had informed the public security agency in China about her actions and that the public security agency in China would “greet” her family.

Additionally, Wu solicited others to find out where the victim was living, publicly posted her email address in the hopes that others would abuse her online, and he reported information about her back to a member of the Chinese government.

Both charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000, noted the voanews.com Jan 25.

Wu is currently on bail but is barred from changing his address, entering the Berklee campus, or contacting those involved in the case. He has surrendered his passport and cannot leave the state of Massachusetts.

Th report quoted Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Boston Division as saying: “What Xiaolei Wu did in attempting to silence and intimidate an activist who expressed dissension with the ruling Communist Party of China is not only criminal, but completely against our country’s democratic values.”


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