Ye Haiyan, an advocate on behalf of sex workers, was detained Saturday by police in Wuhan, Hubei Province, after publishing a nude photo of herself on her personal Sina Weibo account, according to an official police notice sent to one of Ye's family members.
The notice said Ye will be detained for 10 days for "intentionally displaying nudity in a public place."
Several police officers arrived at Ye's house Friday morning, taking Ye into custody and confiscating her computer and mobile phone.
A friend of Ye's, surnamed Hu, who is a lawyer based in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday that Ye published her nude photo on the Internet because she wanted to raise public awareness of woman's rights.
On October 23 China's record on women's rights was examined by the United Nations' Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in Geneva. Hu said that Ye released the nude photo on her Weibo account to call attention to the discussion.
"The police found out a few days later and they detained her," Hu told the Global Times.
The nude photo has since been deleted.
Ye, 39, who had previously worked as a teacher in primary school, became famous in 2005 after publishing her nude pictures online.
She then established the China Grass-roots Women's Rights Centre and campaigned for women and sex workers' rights.
In early 2012, Ye sparked controversy by offering free sex to migrant workers. Ye was also detained for 13 days in Bobai county, in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, for intentional injury of others in last May.