Al Jazeera’s best photos of 2016

A compilation of Al Jazeera’s top photos of the year from around the world.

India''s waste- DO NOT USE- RESTRICTED

Last Days of FARC


Estefany, from the Yari Savannas in Colombia, joined the FARC when she was 10, after the civil war swept through her village and left her orphaned. At 15, a bullet tore through her shoulder during combat.

This image originally appeared in The Last Days Of The FARC, published September 2016

Photograph: Tomas Ayuso


Prison Overcrowding in the Philippines


In the Philippines, the war on drugs by President Rodrigo Duterte has led to nearly 6,000 deaths and the number of prisoners suspected of links to drug-related crimes is also on the rise. In this image, 40 prisoners are held inside the detention cells, which measures only a few square metres.

This image originally appeared in Prisons and rehab overcrowding in the Philippines, published December 2016

Photograph: Alberto Maretti 


Festival of African Masks


Hundreds of traditional masks from six African countries came to life during the largest International Art and Mask Festival in West Africa in the western Burkina Faso town of Dedougou.

This image originally appeared in FESTIMA: A Festival of African Masks, published in March 2016

Photograph: Jacob Balzani Loov


India’s Tonnes of Waste


Dozens of children, some as young as five, work alongside adults in the Bhalswa landfill – one of three landfill sites in Delhi, India. Mountains of waste are dumped in open spaces where children can often be seen picking through the sometimes toxic material.

This image originally appeared in Delhi’s Dilemma: What To Do With Its Tonnes Of Waste?, published in November 2016 

Photograph: William Brown


Gaza in the Dark


Eight-year-old Osama does his homework at his family home. Blackouts are common in the Gaza Strip, where residents receive less than eight hours of electricity a day.

This image appeared in Gaza in the Dark, published August 2016.

Photograph: Sebastian Leban


Rooftop Rebels


Hong Kong’s youth have been at the forefront of political activism in the city. For roof toppers, defying the authorities and photographing their adventures is a political statement.

This photograph appeared in the gallery, Hong Kong Through The Eyes of Rooftop Rebels, published August 2016

Photograph: Airin T


A Father’s Battle


With many myths still surrounding albinism in parts of Africa, many live in constant fear. In Kampala, Uganda, Mwanje washes his children Sekiringa and Marry in the morning, and applies sunscreen with SPF protection 50 to Sekiringa. Without sun cream or a hat, their skin begins to suffer within minutes.

This photograph was originally published in A Father’s Battle To Protect His Children With Albinism, published in July 2016

Photograph: Fredrik Lerneryd


Ballet at Kibera


This ballet class in the slums of Nairobi is part of a larger charity that also hosts dance, music, creative writing and film classes. Without proper-fitting dance shoes, students practise barefoot on the old concrete floors in the classroom. 

This image originally appeared in Kenyan Children Learn Ballet At Kibera Slum, published in September 2014

Photograph: Fredrik Lerneryd


ISIL in Mosul


Youssef Sadi Latif holds up a cigarette, which had been banned under the rule of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) group in Mosul, with oil wells ablaze behind him. 

This image was originally in the article, In Our Village, ISIL Executed Hundreds of People, published in November 2016

Photograph: Alessio Romenzi


High in the Himalayas


High in the Himalayas, villagers maintain the centuries-old tradition of growing Indian cannabis, known as charas . The plant grows wild in many parts of the Himalayas, making is difficult for authorities to trace the source of the hashish back to the farmers, pictured above.

This article appeared in the article Cannabis Farmers Hidden In India’s Himalayas, published April 2016

Photograph: Andrea de Franciscis


Fundao Dam Collapse


In October 2015, around 600 kilometres of the Rio Doce was destroyed in the worst mining accident in Brazil’s history. Nineteen people were killed, fishermen lost their livelihood, and farmers lost their irrigation source and livestock. The drinking water of millions of people was contaminated, and more than 900 hectares of soil was covered in a layer toxic sludge.

This photo originally appeared in the article, The Silence After the Mud, published in June 2016.

Photograph: Fabio Nascimento


Refugee Crisis Continues


As the refugee crisis continued to pour into the early part of this year, Greece saw an increasing number arrivals on its shores. At the Idomeni camp, many refugees gathered, waiting for the Greece-Macedonia border to open. After some tried to break the fence, Macedonian police fired tear gas to keep them back.

This image appeared in the photo gallery, Refugee crisis: Bottlenecked on the Balkan route, published in March 2016.

Photograph: Alexandros Stamatiou


Mauritania’s Iron Trains


Considered among the longest in the world, Mauritania’s iron trains travel hundreds of miles through the Sahara desert to deliver iron ore, covering a distance of over 650 kilometres.

This image originally appeared in The iron trains of Mauritania, published March 2016.

Photograph: Daniel Rodrigues


Blinded by Pellets in Kashmir


Twenty-four-year-old Danish was shot by a pellet gun from a distance of 10 metres, suffering irreversible damage to his eyesight. His story is among thousands of Kashmiris blinded by pellet guns used by security forces to defuse protests in the region. 

This image appeared in Blind in Kashmir with 100 pellets lodged in his head, published December 2016.

Photograph: Zacharie Rabehi


Standing Rock


Thousands of Native Americans had camped out in North Dakota since April in protest against a pipeline that would cut across sacred burial grounds and the Missouri river – the main water source for the Standing Rock Sioux. Backed by armoured vehicles, police cleared the protest camp, using sound cannons, pepper spray, taser guns and beanbag shotguns against the protesters.

This image appeared in the story Standing Rock tribe protests over North Dakota pipeline, published October 2016

Photograph: Jason Patinkin

Source: Al Jazeera