Chinese Berklee student arrested for stalking, harassing pro-democracy peer

Chinese Berklee student arrested for stalking, harassing pro-democracy peer

The student claimed he reported the victim's family to the Chinese government, according to an FBI affidavit

December 16, 2022
Before you read:

A Chinese music student in the U.S. was arrested and charged on Wednesday in connection with stalking and harassing another Chinese student for advocating democracy in China.
Xiaolei Wu, a 25-year-old student at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, was charged with one count of stalking for alleged threats made toward another Berklee student who posted fliers in support of democracy in China.
He now faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts.
According to an affidavit by FBI agent Andrew Kirk, who was investigating the case, the victim posted a flier on or near campus on Oct. 22 demanding freedom and democracy in the country. They then took a photo of the flier and posted it to their Instagram page, which Wu followed.
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berklee chinese flyer
The pro-democracy flyer, via the FBI’s affidavit
Wu then reportedly posted a series of threats in a “Berklee Class of 2024” WeChat group with over 300 members, including the victim who posted the flier.
The posts, which were in Chinese, are translated in the affidavit.
“Don’t you fucking post reactionary posters,” Wu wrote in one post. “You go to post them at Tian’anmen Square Post more, I will chop your bastard hand(s) off … Let barklee [sic] bite your hand(s) off … Not killed by pandemic but about to be killed by Public Security.”
The affidavit alleges that Wu claimed to have reported the victim’s family to the Chinese government, whose representatives would “greet” their family members.
Wu allegedly asked other members of the WeChat group to find the victim’s address and posted the victim’s email address on Instagram in an attempt to encourage further abuse from others.
Posts included in the affidavit have been translated as follows:

This assh*le lived at Greenhouse N 8th or 9th floor don’t know if still there, those living at greenhouse can go greet this person … The school can also check this person’s record, anyone who has the authority to check or is willing to do so, we would greatly appreciate it. … Be able to check even after graduation Let’s call a spade a spade, your family can spend money providing for your overseas studies, you f**king should be truly thankful. WTF You have no freedom?

Wu has since been suspended from Berklee, according to a statement made by the school on Wednesday.
“The described behavior is troubling to Berklee,” the school said, according to CNN. “We cannot, however, comment on ongoing law enforcement investigations.”
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins reaffirmed the Department of Justice’s commitment to protecting free speech in the wake of Wu’s arrest:

The Department of Justice will always defend the right to engage in free speech and political expression. We allege that Mr. Wu’s threatening and harassing behavior was not free speech. Rather, it was an attempt to silence and intimidate the activist’s expressed views dissenting of the PRC. We will not tolerate threats, harassment or any other repression attempts against those peacefully promoting their ideas, doing their jobs, or expressing their opinions. Freedom of speech is a constitutional right here in the United States and we will protect and defend it at all costs.

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      Chandler Treon

      Chandler Treon is an Austin-based Copyeditor for NextShark




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