Former U of M student jailed in China for social media posts criticizing Chinese government

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A former University of Minnesota student from China spent time behind bars in his country because of posts on social media.

Chinese court records claimed last summer the student was sentenced to six months in prison for negative posts on Twitter about the Chinese government and leader.

A professor who studies Chinese law says it's a growing concern for Chinese students in the U.S. to criticize their government on social media.

"What they say and do outside of China can have repercussions for them at home," Center for Asian Law Co-Director Jacques deLisle said. "Will be monitored and reported, either by their fellow students, or if they are putting it on Twitter or other social media, it will be monitored by the vast Chinese surveillance state."

Sarah McLaughlin, Director of Targeted Advocacy at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), issued the following statement to KSTP:

"FIRE is deeply concerned by Luo's imprisonment for political comments he posted on Twitter while studying here in the United States. Academic communities flourish when all students, including international students, may speak freely without the threat of surveillance or punishment. No matter where they call home, students should not be forced to choose between peacefully expressing their beliefs and staying out of jail."