Ransoms and Reunions: The Internet Huts of Burma

The Rohingya have suffered years of persecution in Burma. Rohingya Muslims are denied full citizenship, their movements restricted, their prospects grim. In a makeshift Internet hut in a crowded internal displacement camp set up for the Rohingya in western Burma, the Reuters photographer Minzayar captured a series of intimate and heartbreaking portraits of families, their faces lit by laptop screens as they contact loved ones and relatives who have left the country for Thailand and Malaysia, escaping the violence that led to 200 deaths and left over 140,000 homeless in 2012. The video chats are personal, often wrenching, discussions held in a very public space in the camp. Aside from reunions and catching up, many of the conversations are with human traffickers who demand thousands of dollars to free family members. The Rohingya merchant Kyaw Thein, who runs the Internet hut, also assists in wiring cash between loved ones and funneling money to the traffickers. The captions below describe the conversations taking place, captured in the portraits above.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Yuichi Yamazaki / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Hazy Harbor, Hot Horse, Rocket Billionaire

    Preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, flood damage in Germany, Eid al-Adha prayers in Senegal, a crowded nightclub in London, a windy day in Montevideo, and much more

  • NASA

    Apollo’s First Lunar Rover, Driven 50 Years Ago

    Images of the development, training, and deployment of the first vehicle driven by humans on the surface of another world

  • Anne-Christine Poujoulat / AFP / Getty

    Scenes From the 2021 Tour de France

    Images from the 108th edition of the famous cycling race

  • Wolfgang Rattay / Reuters

    Photos: Catastrophic Flooding Across Western Europe

    Days of historic levels of rainfall have led to numerous deadly flood events across Western Europe.