Luo Daiqing, 20, was arrested in Wuhan, China, in July after posting tweets critical of the government while he was studying in the US, according to court documents Axios obtained.
The University of Minnesota student was sentenced to six months in prison in November.
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A University of Minnesota student was arrested in China and sentenced to six months in prison for posting tweets critical of the government, Axios reported Wednesday.
The outlet obtained Chinese court documents showing that 20-year-old Luo Daiqing was arrested in his hometown of Wuhan last July, while he was home for summer break.
He was sentenced to six months in prison in November for using "his Twitter account to post more than 40 comments denigrating a national leader's image and indecent pictures," which "created a negative social impact," according to the documents seen by Axios.
Axios viewed Daiqing's suspected Twitter account before it was taken down, and said it included posts with cartoons making fun of President Xi Jinping.
One of the tweets showed Chinese government slogans superimposed over images of cartoon villain Lawrence Limbergur, who looks like Xi, while others were retweets of Winnie the Pooh, a character that is now banned in China over comparisons to Xi.
China started cracking down on dissident behavior online a year ago, and Luo's arrest shows that they appear to be expanding to monitor Chinese nationals abroad, as well.
Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska told Axios that China should release Luo.
"This is what ruthless and paranoid totalitarianism looks like," Sasse said
A University of Minnesota spokesman told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the school didn't have any information on Luo's detention.