‘Extradition’ Podcast Reopens the Cold Case of a Canadian Held in China for Almost Two Decades

Toronto, Ontario, May 01, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TVO Today has launched Extradition: The Search for Huseyin Celil, a gripping new podcast investigating the disappearance of a Canadian citizen and Uyghur refugee. Huseyin Celil was arrested under false pretenses while abroad and sent to prison in China. Almost two decades later, his fate remains unknown despite his family’s desperate pleas for answers.

From the same team behind the award-winning Unascertained podcast, this six-episode series reveals the complicated global politics behind one man’s unjust confinement. It investigates whether the Canadian government has done all it can to get Celil released. The podcast team takes on this cold case to reignite the 17-year long search for Huseyin.

“Canadians will remember the massive effort to bring home the ‘Two Michaels’ in 2021. The series examines why the same hasn’t been done for Huseyin Celil,” says Katie O’Connor, TVO’s managing editor of podcasts & digital. “Extradition sifts through the web of international politics to get answers on where he is today and whether he is still alive.”

Through candid interviews with former Canadian politicians, in-depth insight from experts on China, and new information brought to light through the team’s reporting, the podcast explores how China’s harsh crackdowns on its Uyghur population are reaching far beyond the country’s borders and encroaching on the safety and security of Canadian citizens.

"Our decision to re-open the case of Huseyin Celil and investigate his whereabouts has resulted in new and unexpected revelations,” said Yusuf Zine, Extradition producer and host. A timeline of Huseyin's experience in prison from uncovered notes; startling details from a behind-closed-doors meeting between two former ministers; and a cache of contacts that gave us a direct line into the prison where Huseyin is being held. It's a series that pulls back the curtain of China's mass imprisonment of Uyghurs to find a lost and forgotten Canadian man."

Subscribe and listen to Extradition: The Search for Huseyin Celil on Wednesdays via Apple, Google, Spotify or your preferred podcasting platform. Listen to the series trailer here.

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Innerspeak Media is a creative producing duo, founded and led by Kevin Young and Yusuf Zine, based in Toronto, Canada. Our work focuses on storytelling through writing, directing, and editing with specific backgrounds in film, podcasts, and theatre. In 2018, our first feature documentary, I Am Rohingya: A Genocide in Four Acts, won the Cinema Politica Audience Choice Award, and has screened in multiple countries and film festivals around the world - including at the United Nations. Our previous podcast, Unascertained: The Case of Soleiman Faqiri, won several awards including Amazon Music's Best Canadian Podcasts of 2021. Our work has been featured in major international news outlets such as The Guardian, Al-Jazeera, CBC and more.

Media contact:
Genevieve Grant, TVO | ggrant@tvo.org

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TVO Today podcast Extradition: The Search for Huseyin Celil