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

  • Justin Sullivan / Getty

    Wildfires Burn Through California’s Wine Country

    Images of the fast-growing fires from the weekend, in a state already coping with multiple disasters

  • Diane39 / iStockphoto / Getty

    Rhode Island: Images of the Ocean State

    A few glimpses of the landscape of Rhode Island, and some of the animals and people calling it home

  • Alex Brandon / AP

    Photos of the Week: Wishing Moons, Runway Swim, Shawnee Sunset

    Autumn colors in Wales, a ripple maze in Taiwan, “picture day” at a Connecticut school, a funnel cloud in Spain, surfing in South Africa, and much more

  • Charles Dharapak / AP

    Photos: Remembering the Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    Images from the life of an iconic woman, and from the memorials in recent days