A University of Minnesota student was recently detained in China and sentenced to six months in prison for tweets he posted while in the United States, according to a news report from the website Axios.
Chinese police arrested 20-year-old Luo Daiqing in his hometown of Wuhan in July, according to Axios. The liberal arts major had returned home after the spring semester ended.
Luo was reportedly detained for months before being sentenced in November to six months in prison for “provocation.” The court judgment says his time in detention will count toward the six months, Axios reports.
Chinese court documents allege that Luo tweeted more than 40 comments in September and October 2018 “denigrating a national leader’s image and indecent pictures.”
The account known to be Luo’s tweeted some images of cartoon villain Lawrence Limburger — who resembles Chinese President Xi Jinping — with Chinese slogans superimposed over them.
The account also retweeted images of Winnie the Pooh, a character that is censored in China because internet users made unflattering comparisons to Xi.
The arrest and sentencing of Luo raises questions about China’s attempts to shut down free speech beyond its borders.
A U spokesman said school officials did not have any information about the situation.
Ryan Faircloth • 612-673-4234 Twitter: @ryanfaircloth