China releases assistant to rights lawyer after 1 year

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Chinese police say they have released an assistant to a human rights lawyer on bail, just ahead of the anniversary of a national crackdown on rights defenders.

Police announced Thursday that Zhao Wei was released on bail after admitting her crimes and showing a good attitude.

Zhao worked for prominent human rights lawyer Li Heping. She was taken into custody last July with dozens of rights lawyers, workers and activists. She was formally arrested in January and charged with state subversion.

Li and several other rights lawyers remain in custody.

Ren Quanniu, a lawyer who represents Zhao's family, confirmed the conditional release. He said authorities may have wanted to reduce public attention to the anniversary by releasing the 24-year-old woman.