Blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng began a new life in the United States alongside his family this week, amid continuing fears over the fate of his family and fellow activists back at home.
Chen, who was photographed from a distance enjoying the spring sunshine in New York's Central Park on the family's first day in the city, was unavailable to journalists.
"Journalists all want him to come out and say something, but he won't," said a source close to the activist, whose daring escape from house arrest and six-day stay in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing sparked a diplomatic crisis between Washington and Beijing.
"He probably won't do that for at least another couple of weeks and will probably release a brief statement thanking everyone," the source told RFA's Mandarin service.
The source said the activist was "keeping a low profile" out of fears for the fate of his nephew, Chen Kegui, who has been charged with homicide by authorities in the family's home county of Yinan, Shandong province.
According to a report on Sunday in the Washington Post, the original deal that was struck with Chinese officials allowed for Chen to study in the northern port city of Tianjin before possibly studying in the U.S.
But when Chen was reunited with his family at the Chaoyang Hospital in Beijing, U.S. officials withdrew from the hospital in order to give the family some private time together, the paper quoted U.S. officials as saying in response to criticism that they abandoned Chen soon after he left the embassy.
The source said French diplomats, believing Chen had been abandoned by Washington, stood ready to invite him to stay in their embassy.
"Some people were saying that the French thought the U.S. were being too soft [over Chen] and they were worried that something else might befall him," he added.
Chen's departure was reported only by China's official news agency Xinhua and the Global Times, sister paper to the Communist Party's official People's Daily.
The Global Times said in a 1,200 word article that Chen should use the time away from his homeland to reflect coolly on what had happened and why such "special treatment" had been accorded to a single individual.
Shenzhen-based pro-democracy activist Zhu Jianguo said the article carried an underlying sense of threat.
"They want to remind him publicly, make a sort of threat, that he shouldn't think that he is totally free, just because he is in America," Zhu said.
"They can still have revenge against him; they don't need to spell out the details ... His relatives and family members are still in their clutches," he said.
The source said the harshness of Chen Kegui's sentence would depend largely on the amount of pressure exerted on Beijing by the international community.
"They will either sentence him heavily as an example ... and then let him out after a few years, or they might give him a lighter sentence ... if the European Union observer group paid attention to the trial," he said.
Chen Kegui's wife, Liu Fang, said in an online video message that she is very concerned for her husband's safety.
"I demand in the strongest terms that the police allow [lawyers] Ding Xikui and Si Weijiang to meet with Chen Kegui," she wrote.
Rights lawyer Liu Weiguo, another member of Chen Kegui's legal team, said Liu Fang had recorded the video last Friday and posted it online, but that it was soon deleted by China's Internet censors.
"What the Yinan police are doing is fundamentally illegal," Liu said. "The police, according to law, have no right to force a person to be represented by a particular lawyer."
"His relatives feel that their actions are stripping Chen Kegui of his right to a defense."
Reported by Qiao Long for RFA's Mandarin service and by Grace Kei Lai-see for the Cantonese service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.