The Tangled Politics Keeping a Uyghur Man in Limbo

Season 1 | Episode 8
20m | Mar 10, 2022

The Tangled Politics Keeping a Uyghur Man in Limbo

Season 1, Episode 8

This week we’ll hear from Annie Hylton. For the March/April issue of The Walrus, Hylton takes a look at the complex case of Ayoob Mohammed. 

Mohammed is Uyghur—a largely Muslim, Turkic-speaking ethnic group that has faced persecution in China. Recently, Canada’s Parliament labelled China’s treatment of Uyghurs “genocide.” 

While escaping from China in 2001, Mohammed found himself in Afghanistan on the eve of 9/11. In the chaos that ensued, he was sold for bounty to US forces and sent to Guantánamo Bay.

US officials maintained that Mohammed was a member of the Eastern Turkistan Independence Movement, allegedly a Uyghur terrorist group, though this may have been part of an attempt to secure China’s support for the war on terror.

Hylton takes listeners through Mohammed’s long journey from his birthplace in China to Guantánamo Bay to Albania, where he remains after two rejected attempts to join his family in Canada.

Hylton is an independent investigative journalist and writer from Saskatchewan who is now based in Paris, where she is an associate professor at Sciences Po. She won a gold National Magazine Award for her 2020 long-form feature “Searching for Mackie,” which was published in The Walrus. 

In this episode:

We hear Hylton discuss Uyghur culture and the persecution the group has faced in China.

Hylton talks about Ayoob Mohammed and his early life in Xinjiang. 

She then explains how 9/11 threw the region into turmoil and led to Mohammed being imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay. 

She then talks about how she came across and reported Mohammed’s story. 

Hylton then shares what she is currently watching right now. 

Finally, we check in on what we're talking about this week at The Walrus.


Additional Links:

Facebook @thewalrus

Twitter @thewalrus 

Instagram @thewalrus

Looking to get in touch about the podcast? You can reach us at


Hosted and produced by Sheena Rossiter and Angela Misri, with editing by Sheena Rossiter

Music provided by Audio Jungle. Our theme song is “This Podcast Theme” by Inplus Music Additional music: “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab; “Podcast Intro” by Inplus Music; “Lightless,” “Floating Cities,” “Shores of Avalon,” and “Comfortable Mystery” by Kevin MacLeod, provided by Film Music. 

Lightless Dawn by Kevin MacLeod



Floating Cities by Kevin MacLeod



Shores of Avalon by Kevin MacLeod



Comfortable Mystery by Kevin MacLeod



Additional sources: Global News on YouTube.

Audio Player Image
The Deep Dive from The Walrus