PRESS RELEASE
Contact 07854 486 794

14 December – 28 December: A British activist who took the Government to the High Court over its complicity in the torture of Afghan detainees is due to visit Kabul this Christmas, meeting Afghan human rights activists and taking part in an international “Global Day of Listening” on 21 December with peace activists from Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and Libya [1].

Maya Evans (32) [2], who works for a puppet company in Hastings, is also hoping to meet some of those affected by NATO night raids and drone strikes, as well as refugees from the war who are currently living in the capital.

In June 2010 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 [3]. Since then, the UN has found compelling evidence of systematic torture in five facilities run by the NDS – including at least one facility deemed safe for detainee transfers by the High Court [4].

Ms Evans will be leaving the UK for Kabul on 14 December and returning on 28 December. She is believed to be the first British peace activist to visit Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion.

Ms Evans said: “Last year, as a result of a legal challenge brought by British activists, the High Court ruled that it was unlawful for Britain to transfer Afghan detainees to the secret police in Kabul, because of the high risk that they might be tortured. However, 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. The British Government remains complicit in torture in Afghanistan, and so long as this is the case I intend to continue challenging it.”

To arrange an interview with Maya Evans contact 07854 486 794

NOTES

[1] 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 & about the wish to live without wars. See http://globaldaysoflistening.org/

[2] In October 2005 Maya 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 of participating in an “unauthorized” demonstration within 1km of Parliament. See: “MPs condemn arrest of woman who spoke out”, Daily Mail, 8 December 2005 (http://tinyurl.com/zoep7)

[3] ”Partial victory’ in challenge to UK Taliban transfers’, BBC, 25 June 2010; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10412708

[4] “Treatment of Conflict Related Detainees in Afghan Custody”, UNAMA, October 2011; http://tinyurl.com/unamareport

 

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One response »

  1. We just asked our friends in Bexhill to Twitter Sir William Patey who is our Ambassador to Afghanistan (see http://twitter.com/#!/HMAKabul) to look after Maya when she’s there….! See you back safe and sound on 28th Maya..

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