Chinese Student Indicted Over Allegedly Stalking, Harassing Pro-Democracy Activist in Boston

Hannah Ng
By Hannah Ng
January 12, 2023China News

A Chinese student has been indicted in connection with allegedly stalking and threatening a U.S. permanent resident who posted flyers in support of democracy in China, the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Jan. 10.

Wu Xiaolei, a Chinese citizen studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston on one count of cyberstalking and one count of interstate transmissions of threatening communication, according to the DOJ.

Wu was arrested on Dec. 14 and made his appearance in a federal court in Boston later that afternoon.

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. The charge of interstate transmissions of threatening communication carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

Alleged Harassment

Wu’s harassment campaign started after he saw an A4 paper posted on a window near the Boston campus, which read, “Stand with Chinese People,” “We Want Freedom,” and “We Want Democracy,” on Oct. 22, according to the charging documents (pdf).

Consequently, Wu allegedly threatened the person who posted the flier on WeChat, a Chinese social media app.

“Post more, I will chop your [expletive] hands off,” Wu told the activist in a group chat, the charging documents stated.

Prosecutors said Wu then claimed he reported the person to public security authorities in China.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts didn’t reveal the name of the activist but said the person is a U.S. permanent resident from China and has family members there.

“I already called the tipoff line in the country, the public security agency will go greet your family,” Wu said in a WeChat group with more than 300 members, according to the complaint.

It’s believed Wu was referring to China’s Ministry of Public Security or the Ministry of State Security. “Both agencies investigate political dissidents, including those who voice support for democracy,” the document stated.

Wu also allegedly solicited others from the WeChat group to find out where the individual lived. According to the charging documents, Wu posted the activist’s email address in the WeChat group, named “Berklee Class of 2024,” to encourage others to harass the person.

In an Oct. 24 email addressed to the activist, which Wu later posted on his Instagram account, Wu said the person would be arrested upon returning to China, and the person’s family members would receive a “political review” from Chinese authorities.

“You should wash dishes for the capitalist dogs,” Wu said in the email, according to the charging documents.

“Oh right, you can also sue me for personal attacks against you, but I feel that with your family background, you will not be able to get rid of me. I already got screenshot(s) of your social account(s) number(s). I also read your records at school. I also called the tip-off line in the country. If you can overturn this, I consider you [expletive] awesome. Don’t go back to the country, it is not appealing to you.”

Transnational Repression

The prosecution of Wu came amid growing concerns about the regime’s transnational repression.

Over the past year, the Department of Justice has charged more than a dozen Chinese intelligence agents, officials, or their American accomplices over a range of campaigns allegedly aimed at harassing and spying on Chinese dissidents and rights advocates in the United States, and in some cases attempting to coerce their return to China.

The Chinese regime also operates more than 100 “police service stations” around the world, including two in New York City and one in Los Angeles, according to recent revelations by Spanish non-profit Safeguard Defenders.

The group says that the Chinese Communists Party has utilized the worldwide network to carry out its transnational repression.

The report has raised alarm among lawmakers and officials in the United States, Canada, the UK, and other European countries. At least 14 countries have launched an investigation into the facilities.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a November hearing that these outposts are being investigated.

“To me, it is outrageous to think that the Chinese police would attempt to set up shop—you know, in New York, let’s say—without proper coordination,” Wray told lawmakers on Nov. 17. “It violates sovereignty and circumvents standard judicial and law enforcement cooperation processes.”

“I’m deeply concerned about this. I’m not going to just let it lie.”

Dorothy Li contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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