Rohingya refugees walk through Bagoha camp at sunset. Though beautiful, the reality of the camps is harsh, cramped and unforgiving. Despite the violence that they fled, many Rohingya wished to someday return to their homes.
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Rohingya refugees are loaded onto a truck in Teknaf for transportation into the camps. After crossing to Bangladesh in rickety boats, the Rohingya were often made to wait until nightfall with little food or water before being dropped off on the road through the camps where they would wait to be assigned a spot.
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A Rohingya child is carried in a bucket along a muddy path in a rice paddy field immediately after crossing the Naf River, from Myanmar into Bangladesh. The journey took many families a week or more and the very young and very old often had to be carried in whatever way possible.
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Rohingya refugees wait in a food distribution line in Kutapalong refugee camp. Food lines were long and the weather was either unbearably hot or rainy and muddy. Tempers often flared and guards used sticks to beat people back into line and avoid chaos.
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A Rohingya man slowly makes his way through Kutapalong camp. Heavy rains, foot traffic and hundreds of passing vehicles turned the newly formed roads into a slippery, dangerous quagmire.
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Rohingya refugees make their way along the road next to Balukali camp. The road through the camps experienced heavy traffic and refugees were regularly hit, some fatally so.
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Rohingya refugees are kept in line with a stick wielded by a Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) member after crossing the Naf River from Myanmar into Bangladesh. Many had been walking for weeks and were suffering from malnutrition and dehydration. Temperatures soared to well over 100 degrees farenheit.
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Rohingya men make their way through a flash rainstorm in Bagoha camp. Monsoon rains are a real threat due to the high density of refugees and many diseases and mosquito born illnesses that become prevalent in the damp, humid weather.
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A Rohingya woman awaits camp assignment in the shade on the edge of the road on October. New arrivals from Myanmar waited for camp assignment by the roadside in whatever shade they could find for an undesignated amount of time.
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Boys look out over Kutapalong camp. These camps spread out for miles and miles with every inch of ground dedicated to tents.
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Rohingya refugees wait in a muddy rice paddy field after crossing the Naf River, on orders of the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB). They were kept there for more than a day, through intense heat and rain. At least one person died and many others collapsed from exhaustion.
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Abu Jafar (foreground), 60, prays next to a long line of Rohingya refugees, as they wait to be let into the camps after crossing the Naf River. Abu Jafar made the same crossing in 1992, and said that the border guards had mistaken him for a new arrival and forced him to pray in the rice field instead of in the mosque across the road.
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The feet of Rohingya refugees are pictured crossing a narrow plank in a rice paddy field on the Bangladeshi side of the Naf River. Tens of thousands of Rohingya were forced to move single file, due to the nature of the rice paddy walkways.
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Nesar Ahmed, 65, is treated in a makeshift MSF clinic after crossing the Naf River from Myanmar into Bangladesh. His condition was deemed critical and the BGB allowed him to be carried out of the rice paddy field where tens of thousands of others waited throughout the day and night.
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A Rohingya woman cooks food in her tent in Bagoha camp.
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A man washes outdoors at Bagoha camp. The high density of refugees means people have to share every availble resource and space. Showers and bathrooms are drained down the hill sides into the water below.
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Saleha, 16, suffering from malnutrition, sits in Sadar Hospital in Cox’s Bazar. She lost her parents on the way to Bangladesh, but is occasionally visited by her sister who lives in the camps. However, she spends the majority of her days alone.
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Silhouettes of children playing line the ridge of Balukali camp. The camps often became most active a night as the unrelenting heat of the day finally abated.
For years, Rohingya Muslims have been subject to severe discrimination, persecution, and abuse in Myanmar. In late summer, 2017, it resulted in a mass exodus to Bangladesh, as the Myanmar Military burned villages and opened fire on those that tried to run. The Rohingya that survived the trip to Bangladesh brought along more horrific stories of rape and torture. More than half a million Rohingya have arrived in Bangladesh and currently sit in massive refugee camps near Cox's Bazaar. They have nowhere to go and there are currently talks of returning them to Myanmar and rumors of structures being built in Myanmar that heavily resemble internment camps.