These Uyghurs were locked up by the US in Guantanamo. Now they're being used as an excuse for China's crackdown in Xinjiang
The men crouched inside the cave, their faces streaked with dust, occasionally flinching involuntarily at the explosions overhead, which seemed to shake the entire mountain.
Attempts by some of the Uyghurs to leave the places where they resettled have so far been unsuccessful. Ayoub is part of a lawsuit three former Guantanamo detainees have brought against the Canadian government, trying to force Ottawa to allow them to travel to that country.
"We don't have permission to work here (in Albania)," Ayoub said. "We're unable to get passports, we're not allowed to travel outside of Albania. We've been here for over 15 years."
All three plaintiffs are married to Canadian citizens, but the authorities have refused to allow them to join them in Canada, arguing they are "inadmissible on security grounds" due to their alleged membership of a terrorist organisation: ETIM.
"The evidence that the Canadian government is relying on all emerged from their detention in Guantanamo," said Prasanna Balasundaram, the lead lawyer on the case. "There is no credible evidence that Ayoub was ever a member of ETIM."
He pointed to the apparent hypocrisy of Canada, whose parliament recently accused China of committing "genocide" in Xinjiang, of relying on the same evidence as Beijing in order to deny the entry of his clients.