Chinese authorities' announcement that a detained activist was freed on bail on 7 July has been questioned by her husband and her supporters as she has not been seen in public yet since her release.
Zhao Wei was working as a legal assistant to a well-known human rights lawyer, Li Heping, who was also detained, in July 2015 for allegedly subverting state power. They later said they would release her for good conduct and for confessing to crimes charged against her.
However, even four days after her announced release, she has reportedly not met anyone except her mother. Zhao had posted a message online about celebrating her mother's birthday, Reuters reported.
Although she has been active on her social media page, Weibo, and has been posting a series of messages, her husband has raised doubts if it was really Zhao behind her online communication.
"I don't think it's her who posted on Weibo. The posts are very suspicious," Zhao's husband, You Minglei, told Reuters.
Her Weibo posts accusing Heping of "concealing information from her" and that so was "so naive" to have trusted and worked for him, have raised more questions than answers by those who know her. In the same post Zhao also thanked police for treating her well when she was under custody.
Her messages are said to have come as a surprise to her connections as she has been known as an active campaigner for human rights in China. Her lawyer Ren Quanniu who had also raised doubts about her release was arrested for allegedly spreading rumours about her mistreatment while in detention, according to the Guardian. A group of over 100 human rights lawyers launched an online petition calling for Ren's release.
"Ren was doing his job to find out the truth of Zhao's arrest but was rejected many times when requesting to see Zhao in person," You said.
China's leadership under President Xi Jingpin has been seen being harsh on its rights activists and lawyers and a crackdown on more than a dozen of them has drawn severe criticism from the West.
Under Chinese law, even those who are released on bail are subjected to constant monitoring by the authorities. Their freedom and movement within the country are also restricted.