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Chinese National Student At Berklee College of Music Sentenced For Threatening Person Who Put Up Posters For Democracy

April 26, 2024

A former Berklee College of Music student from the People’s Republic of China was sentenced to nine months in federal prison this week for stalking and threatening a person who posted fliers around campus in support of democracy in China.

Xiaolei Wu, 26, was also sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to three years of supervised release, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.

A federal jury convicted Wu in January 2024 on one count of cyberstalking and one count of interstate transmissions of threatening communication.

“Mr. Wu’s criminal conduct is very serious. He harnessed the fear of potential retribution from the PRC government to harass and threaten an innocent individual who had posted an innocuous, pro-democracy flier on the Berklee campus. Mr. Wu’s violent threats achieved his goal of instilling fear in his effort to silence this brave victim and others who might want to speak out against the PRC government,” Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy said in the press release, using “PRC” to refer to “People’s Republic of China.” “Our office and the Department of Justice will not tolerate efforts to intimidate and threaten people to suppress their First Amendment rights. Censorship and repression campaigns will never be tolerated here.”

Wu was a student at Berklee College of Music on October 22, 2022. That day, someone posted a flier near the Berklee College of Music campus that said “Stand with Chinese People,” “We Want Freedom,” and “We Want Democracy.”

From that day until October 24, 2022, Wu sent various communications to the person who posted the flier via WeChat and Instagram. One message from Wu said, “Post more, I will chop your bastard hands off.”

Additionally, Wu told the victim he informed a public security agency in China about the flier and that this agency would “greet” the victim’s family.

Wu also solicited help from others to find out where the victim lived and to post the victim’s email address online to get others to harass the victim, prosecutors said.


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