For Immediate Release

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Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch (202) 683-4905

Food & Water Watch Denounces Violent Suppression of Protestors at World Water Forum

Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter

WASHINGTON - "Earlier today, Turkish police violently attacked a peaceful protest by water activists convened to oppose the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul. Protesters were assaulted with rubber bullets, water cannons and gas and a number of them were arrested. Food & Water Watch denounces the appalling actions of the Turkish police and sees them as sadly emblematic of the undemocratic nature of the World Water Forum.

"While the World Water Forum is billed as a means of facilitating global collaboration around water resource issues, in reality, it is a front to further enable the worldwide privatization of water systems. At a time when an estimated 1.7 billion people still lack access to clean water and 2.3 billion people suffer from water-borne diseases each year, it is imperative that we come together to create sensible solutions to the world's water crisis.

"The violent repression exhibited today in Istanbul is but one more example of the conflict caused by privatizing water. It is also a clear example of why the World Water Forum needs to be replaced with an open, democratic forum that recognizes water as a basic, universal human right."

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Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.

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