Bangkok-based photographer Luke Duggleby shot portraits of the families of arbitrarily arrested Burmese Muslims on assignment for Fortify Rights, a US-based human rights NGO. The assignment lasted over a week and involved driving across much of Northern Myanmar with the Fortify Rights team.
In August of 2014, Myanmar military intelligence intercepted and arbitrarily arrested 14 Burmese Muslims traveling to attend a wedding.
The bride and groom as well as the grooms parents, friends, and individuals hired to assist in arranging the festivities were among those arrested.
Many members of the wedding party remain detained today under the now-defunct law, repealed in October 2016.
This photo essay depicts the impact for the families of the arbitrarily detained wedding party.
As they visited each family involved in the cases, Luke quickly and quietly set up a portable light studio to take the portraits, careful not to draw too much attention to their presence.
The images were taken early 2017 but due to the sensitive subject, the NGO waited to share the images until April 2018. They were distributed on Fortify’s social media channels.
This is the first time the images have been used. They were released on April 20th in time for #blueshirt4burma Day which looks to highlight the issue of political prisoners on April 21st.