We've reported on an appeal made by a woman whose father has been sentenced to death for espionage.
On Wednesday Ran Chen spoke to the BBC - on what she believed to be the eve of her father's execution.
On Thursday morning she was allowed to visit her father, Wo Weihan, for the first time in four years. Ms Chen believed this was a last gesture by the authorities before her father's execution.
After her visit, Ran Chen held a news conference. I'll quote in detail from what she told us, because it's extremely rare to get an insight into how a case like this proceeds in China. The legal system in this country operates amid great secrecy. China doesn't disclose how many people it executes every year, but human rights organisations charge that China executes more people than any other country in the world.
Most families involved in death penalty cases don't speak to the media. But Ran Chen has more freedom to talk because she holds a foreign passport (she obtained Austrian nationality several years ago - her father still holds Chinese citizenship).
This is what she told us.
In the morning, Ms Chen and her stepmother went to the Second Intermediate Court of Beijing:
"Before we went in there we had to sign a paper. We were told in a separate room what the rules were for such a family visitation and we were not allowed to bring any paper or pen. We were not allowed to bring anything apart from three or four photos."
Her father had been taken to the court from a prison hospital. He hadn't seen his family for four years.
"It was a complete surprise to him. He said he was sleeping this morning and then the people came and just took him to the court. He was sitting there and then all of a sudden we came in the door and he was very happy to see us... He was calm - he was obviously much older now. He has aged."
The meeting was heavily monitored.
"There was a glass window and I was sitting [on one side] with his wife. And he was sitting on the other side and there were two officials behind him. He was in handcuffs. And behind me were about five to six officials and also a video camera. So the whole conversation was taped."
There were restrictions as to what they were allowed to talk about.
"One of the rules was that we were not allowed to discuss the case. Whenever my father started to speak about the case he was told not to speak about the case."
But there was something Ms Chen had to know.
A few days ago, a low-ranking court official told the family by phone that the Supreme People's Court - China's highest court - had reviewed and approved Mr Wo's execution. Since the start of 2007, this court has had to review all death penalty cases in China. An approval clears the way for a death sentence to be carried out at any time.
But the family hadn't received this final verdict in writing. It didn't know whether or not it should rely on news given over the phone by a minor official.
So, Ms Chen wanted to hear from her father what he had been told.
"The first thing we asked was 'have you received your last verdict?' He said 'no'. I actually asked twice - 'did you receive any news?' He said 'no.'"
Wo Weihan did not appear to think that he was about to be executed.
"He again repeatedly told me that he is innocent. He said very clearly that he has confidence in the justice system of China."
After 30 minutes, the visit was over.
"After meeting with my dad we went home, and I cried for two hours and it was just so difficult and emotional. Because I thought that maybe by the time I got home maybe he was already executed. I didn't know. That's really what makes it very difficult for us. We don't get information."
A few hours later, the family got a call from the Austrian Embassy (Austria has been liaising with the Chinese government because Ms Chen has Austrian citizenship). A diplomat passed on the message that China had agreed to let the family visit Wo Weihan once more. The family doesn't yet know when this next visit will take place. But Ran Chen believes that it means the possibility of her father's immediate execution has receded.
For its part, the Chinese government has stated its position clearly.
"Wo Weihan is a Chinese citizen who broke Chinese law," a Foreign Ministry spokesman, Qin Gang, said at a regularly scheduled briefing held in Beijing on Thursday afternoon, "We can't give privileges to him because he has foreign relatives."
Ran Chen argues that she does not want special privileges for her father. She says that she believes in the justice system in this country, but argues that his conviction for espionage is deeply flawed. She adds that she and her family intend to carry on fighting for her father's death sentence to be commuted.