Al Jazeera's best photos of 2016

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

    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


    Holding onto Hoxha: Guarding the last statue of communist Albania

    Holding onto Hoxha: Guarding the last statue of communist Albania

    In the basement of an old museum in a village in Albania, a 78-year-old woman protects the last remnant of a dictator.

    Still Here: A story of incarceration and gentrification in the US

    Still Here: A story of incarceration and gentrification in the US

    Many formerly imprisoned women of colour return to neighbourhoods transformed beyond recognition. What awaits them?

    The 'risky business' of tracking Rwandan fugitive Felicien Kabuga

    The 'risky business' of tracking Rwandan fugitive Felicien Kabuga

    The former chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda discusses the hunt for genocide suspects.