"It hurts to walk for three days straight without food and water, but it's more heart-wrenching when I think about my home, my things left behind," says an old Rohingya woman, a refugee from Myanmar, as she gulps down a cup of water. She is not the only one to flee from there.
Tens of thousands of Muslim Rohingya people have made or are still making their way to Bangladesh because of the brutal situation in Myanmar. "Rohingya": the word itself is taboo in Myanmar. Buddhist leaders refer to Rohingya as Bengali, immigrants to be rooted out. Rohingya are not included among the 135 ethnic minorities officially recognized by the state and do not qualify for Myanmar citizenship. Many reports on Rohingya persecution and marginalization begin with Myanmar's 1982 citizenship law, which stripped the country's 1 million Rohingya of citizenship, leaving them without access to health care and education. Waves of violence soon followed. The army calls the campaign a stamping-out of an insurgent terrorist military group. Observers say that though armed Rohingya insurgents exist, their overall numbers are small and they are poorly equipped. The crackdown came hard on the entire ethnic group. In what has quickly evolved into a humanitarian disaster of historic proportions villages have been burned to the ground. There are also reports that the army has set up mines along the Bangladesh border to ensure that those who flee do not return. The army insists they are interlopers from across the border. Rohingya point out they have lived in Myanmar for generations. They are surely not a people from a no man's land. Then just who are they?
Hundreds of Rohingya people crossing to Bangladesh. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), around 420,000 Rohingya refugees have fled from Myanmar by August 25th, 2017, most of them trying to cross the border into Bangladesh. 9th of October, 2017.
Sona Banu gets carried by Nobi Hossain to the shore of the Naf river as hundreds of Rohingya arrive by boat under the cover of darkness. September 27th, Shah Porir Dwip island, Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh.
A Myanmar Rohingya refugee woman holds her son after arrival on a boat to Bangladesh, Shah Porir Dip Island, Coxs Bazar. September 14th, 2017.
A Rohingya family crosses a fence near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border. International organizations have asserted human rights violations and summary executions by the Myanmar military. Teknaf, Bangladesh, September 4th, 2017.
A Rohingya refugee with her child walk in a muddy field on their way to Teknaf, Bangladesh, from Myanmar's Rakhine state on September 28th, 2017.
After walking hard for three days without any food or water an old Rohingya woman enters the Teknaf border area from Myanmar Rakhain state at Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh. September 5th, 2017.
Smoke billows above what is believed to be a burning village in Myanmar's Rakhine state as members of the Rohingya minority take shelter in a no-man's land between Bangladesh and Myanmar at Ukhia on September 4th, 2017.
A Rohingya woman carrying her child in a plastic crate wades through the water canals of a field behind the border of Bangladesh. Hundreds have fled from Budichong, Myanmar, and were crossing the Naf river, near Palongkhali, Bangladesh, on October 9th, 2017.
The body of the six-months old Jamal Hossain is washed before his burial in the unofficial leda refugee camp in Teknaf in Bangladesh on November 26th, 2016.
A doctor examines a ten day-old Rohungya child at a medical center in a refugee camp at Ukhiya, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. October 5th, 2017.
Asmat Ara feels traumatized by the recent violence in Myanmar. She came in last night to the Tenkhali Rohingya refugee camp from Myanmar's Kumir Khali state with a family member. Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh, September 6th, 2017.
A Rohingya refugee boy naps in a queue for food in a refugee camp at Pallongkhali in Ukhiya, Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh, September 2th, 2017.
Only one pack of food relief left, but too many hands are reaching. Ukhiya, Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh, September 14th, 2017.
A Rohingya refugee carries his pet monkey as they flee from Budichong, Myanmar, after crossing the Naf river, Bangladesh. October 9th, 2017.
A view of the Palongkhali camp where Myanmar Rohingya refugees find temporary shelter, in Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh. October 5th, 2017.