A University of Minnesota student has been arrested in China and sentenced to six months in prison for tweets he posted while in the United States.
The case represents a dramatic escalation of the Chinese government’s attempts to shut down free speech abroad.
The court document says that “in September and October 2018, while he was studying at the University of Minnesota,” Luo “used his Twitter account to post more than 40 comments denigrating a national leader’s image and indecent pictures,” which “created a negative social impact.”
Chinese students in the United States know that they may be subject to surveillance. Many have become increasingly reluctant to publicly criticize the Chinese government or attend pro-democracy events.