Chinese human rights attorney Wang Quanzhang was reunited with his family in Beijing on Monday after his wife got sick, three weeks after his release from jail, but it was unclear whether he would be allowed to remain with them.
Wang was allowed to return to his family home after being held first under 14 days' quarantine in his birth town of Jinan in the eastern province of Shandong, then warned not to travel to Beijing.
"I don't know how many times I've dreamed of us being reunited during the past five years," his wife Li Wenzu said as the couple hugged. "Now it feels as if I'm dreaming."
"Dad, we're having dumplings this evening," the couple's young son Wang Guangwei told his father in a video made available by the family via social media.
"Great, can I have a hug now?" Wang replied, before sitting with his arms around his wife and child on the family sofa.
But questions remain over whether the authorities will allow Wang to move back to Beijing, where he won his reputation as a human rights attorney representing farmers whose land had been snatched from them by local officials, and members of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement.
"I'm not actually sure right now," Wang answered, when asked by a journalist if he would have to go back to Jinan.
The police officers who escorted him to the apartment left after being told emphatically they couldn't come in by the couple's friend Ye Jinghuan.
onstant psychological pressure''C
An officer who answered the phone at Jinan's Shengjing police station which was overseeing Wang's surveillance declined to comment on the matter when contacted by RFA on Monday.
"I don't know about this," the officer said.
Li was clearly unwell in the video, and will need surgery for appendicitis soon, Ye told RFA.
"She is currently under observation, but they could operate at any time if she gets any worse," Ye said.
"She has been under constant psychological pressure for the past five years, and she hasn't been able to do anything since the day Wang Quanzhang was released from prison."
Wang's appearance back at the family home came after he was stopped by police en route to Beijing after he set out in defiance of warnings from the authorities not to go there.
He had earlier told RFA that he had been told he could travel anywhere in China except for Beijing.
But he made a bid to join his family anyway on Sunday after Li was taken to hospital with stomach pains during an outing with friends.
He was hauled in by police on the expressway and sent back to Shandong, where his local police station arranged for him to travel to visit his family under police escort.
Wang, who was released on April 5 from Shandong's Linyi Prison after serving a four-and-a-half jail term, was finally allowed to see his family after undergoing more procedures at the local police station in Changping, the suburb of Beijing where the family once lived together.
He was sentenced on Jan. 28, 2019 by the Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People's Court, which found him guilty of "subversion of state power."
The verdict and sentence followed repeated delays, resulting in Wang being held in pretrial detention for more than three years with no access to a lawyer or family visits.
Rights groups have expressed concern that he was tortured, although Wang has declined to talk about these reports until he can do so in a carefully thought out manner.
In a recent interview with the South China Morning Post, Wang spoke freely of the emotional pain he suffered while incarcerated, however.
"I was suddenly isolated from the whole world and I was totally consumed by the pain that I was separated from my wife and son," he said.
"As it went on, I had no choice but to force myself to give up my emotional reliance on them and become indifferent," he said.
Li Wenzu had previously said her husband was a changed man after visiting him at Linyi Prison.
Reported by Gao Feng for RFA's Mandarin and Cantonese Services. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.