Music student from China convicted of harassing person over democracy leaflet

BOSTON (AP) — A citizen of China who is a student at the Berklee College of Music was convicted Thursday of threatening a person who posted a flyer in support of democracy in the Asian country, authorities said.

The flyer that was posted near the Berklee College of Music campus in Boston on Oct. 22 read, “Stand with Chinese People,” and other statements including, “We Want Freedom” and “We Want Democracy,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston said in a news release. In response, Xiaolei Wu, 26, threatened to chop off the person’s hands; reported their family to China’s public security agency; asked others to find out where the person was living, and publicly posted the person’s email address, the release said.

The person who posted the flyer is a permanent U.S. resident originally from China who has family members still living there, the Attorney's Office said.

Wu was convicted of one count of stalking and one count of interstate transmissions of threatening communication. Each charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

Wu’s lawyer did not respond to an email requesting comment.

“No one in this country should ever be subjected to threats of violence or a cyberstalking harassment campaign for expressing their political views," Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy said in a statement. “Mr. Wu now stands as a convicted felon for his illegal efforts to suppress speech by a fellow Berklee School of Music student who was critical of the government of China. This type of conduct will never be tolerated.”