The Listening Post

Afghanistan: When journalists become targets

Ten Afghan journalists were killed in Kabul bombings. Plus, the human rights issue of solitary confinement in the US.

On The Listening Post this week: Ten Afghan journalists were killed in the single deadliest day for the Afghan media since the Taliban. Plus, the human rights issue in the United States that most Americans have never heard of, solitary confinement.

The deadliest day for Afghanistan’s media

The Afghan journalists rushing to the site of an explosion two weeks ago in Kabul were trying to cover the news. They didn’t realise it was a setup. In the aftermath, a second suicide bomber, disguised as a news cameraman, detonated his device.

The attacks, claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), left 29 people dead, including ten journalists.

Another Afghan reporter was shot dead that same day, and the carnage was a brutal reminder of the perils of being in the news business in Afghanistan.

“It was one of the deadliest incidents for Afghanistan media and Afghanistan journalists because this one was directly targeting reporters,” says Parwiz Kawa, editor of Hasht-e-Subh Daily newspaper.


Najib Sharifi, director, Afghan Journalists Safety Committee

Parwiz Shamal, head of news, TOLO News

Parwiz Kawa, editor-in-chief, Hasht e Subh Daily newspaper

Malali Bashir, journalist, Radio Azadi

On our radar

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Johanna Hoes about the buyout of a newspaper in Cambodia – the Phnom Penh Post, that has lead to mass resignations. They also hear from Erin Handley, a former reporter for that paper.

Solitary confinement in the US

The numbers are hard to nail down, but an estimated 85,000 prisoners in American jails are currently being held in solitary confinement.

The limited coverage of this issue in the US news media comes down, mostly, to access. The prisons rarely let reporters in to cover those stories.

The Listening Post‘s Marcela Pizarro looks at the coverage of Americans in isolation, and one journalist who has bypassed prison authorities by using the post office and turning prisoners into reporters.


James Ridgeway, Solitary Watch

Johnny Perez, adviser, US Commission on Civil Rights

Ricky Jones, radio host, ‘Unlocked’

David Fathi, national prison Project, ACLU