Peace campaigner to spend her Christmas in Afghanistan

A CAMPAIGNER for peace has gone to Afghanistan to meet human rights activists and refugees affected by the decade-long war.

Maya Evans, 32, of Carisbrooke Road, St Leonards, left on Wednesday and returns on December 29.

She will be visiting the capital Kabul over Christmas and taking part in an international Global Day of Listening on Wednesday (December 21) with peace activists from Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and Libya.

Inspired by the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, the Global Day of Listening uses the internet to listen to, and talk about, what it is like to live in war-torn countries.

Ms Evans admitted her personal safety could be in danger.

She said: “I think it’s a calculated risk and certainly a lot more dangerous going to Kabul for Christmas, rather than being in Hastings. But I am fully optimistic I will be okay.

“It’s worth the risk considering the impact I’ll have on ordinary people’s lives in Afghanistan.”

The peace campaigner will be joining up with an American group called Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

Ms Evans, who works for Idolrich Theatre Rotto, is also hoping to meet some of those affected by night raids and drone strikes, as well as refugees from the war who are currently living in the capital.

In June last year she won ‘a partial victory’ in the High Court, when it ruled that Afghans detained by British forces could no longer be transferred to a detention centre in Kabul run by Afghanistan’s intelligence agency (NDS), because of the risk of torture.

Ms Evans said: “This ruling provides no protection for the thousands of Afghans who are being detained by Afghan forces, despite the fact that these forces are trained, funded and equipped by the US and Britain.”

In October 2005 Ms Evans was arrested for reading out the names of British soldiers who had died as a result of the war in Iraq, opposite the Cenotaph.

In December 2005 she became the first person to be convicted for participating in an ‘unauthorised demonstration’ within 1km of Parliament.