Jailed UMN international student released

The 20-year-old was arrested for tweets he posted while studying in the United States.

by Jasmin Kemp

A former University of Minnesota student who was detained in China for political tweets has since been released, according to a report from the Star Tribune. 

Minnesotan congress members, including Sen. Tina Smith, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Ilhan Omar, all voiced their support on Thursday for 20-year-old Luo Daiqing’s release, according to the report.

Luo — who was detained in China for tweeting “unflattering portrayals of a national leader” — is currently staying in his hometown of Wuhan, China, which is thought to be the origin place of coronavirus and is subject to a travel ban. 

On Wednesday, Axios first reported that Luo was detained last summer and sentenced in November to six months in prison on charges of “provocation.” Court documents viewed by Axios say that Luo tweeted more than 40 comments, which “created a negative social impact” while he was studying at the University in September and October 2018. Among his tweets were images comparing Chinese President Xi Jinping to cartoon characters, according to Axios. 

Chinese students make up the largest portion of international students on campus. In 2018, 2,559 students from China attended the University, good for about 42 percent of all international students.