Hollywood star Jude Law calls for Afghan peace

Mon Sep 1, 2008 8:17am EDT
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KABUL (Reuters) - Militants, foreign forces and the government in Afghanistan should give up their arms for one day as the first step towards peace, Hollywood superstar Jude Law said on Monday.

The twice Oscar-nominated actor went to Afghanistan to promote a new documentary for the Peace One Day organisation, which campaigns for an annual global ceasefire on September 21, the United Nations International Day of Peace.

"Please mark the day. The need now is greater than ever before," Law told a news conference in Kabul.

Violence in Afghanistan has surged with more than 2,500 people, including 1,000 civilians, killed in the conflict in the first six months of this year, according to aid agencies.

Law visited Afghanistan in 2007 to film the documentary, charting the 10-year journey made by award-winning filmmaker, Jeremy Gilley, to establish a world day of peace.

The film, called "The Day After Peace," also features Hollywood celebrity and rights activist Angelina Jolie. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

The call by Law and Gilley to lay down arms helped set the stage for a mass polio vaccination program on September 21 last year in some of the most volatile parts of Afghanistan. About 1.4 million children received inoculations, said Peace One Day.

(Writing by Jonathon Burch; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Paul Tait)

<p>British actor Jude Law listens to a question during a news conference in Kabul, September 1, 2008. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani</p>