The Kant World Citizen Prize (Kant-Weltbürgerpreis) 2014 will be awarded to the documentary «Water Makes Money» and the lawyers association ÇHD in Istanbul/Ankara

This year, the "Kant World Citizen Prize" (Kant-Weltbürgerpreis), which is worth 15 000 euros, will be awarded to the makers of the documentary « Water Makes Money », and the lawyers association ÇHD in Istanbul/Ankara. The prize has been awarded since 2004, in order to recognize and honour civic engagement, and more specifically civic engagement dedicated to the freedom of speech, transparency and to the courage to stand up for one’s beliefs.

The film “Water Makes Money“ by the directors Leslie Franke and Herdolor Lorenz is a remarkable example of a critical analysis of great structural and strategic significance for the sake of a more sovereign Europe. By raising awareness about the consequences of the increasing privatization of water, the documentary has made a great contribution to the success of the first European initiative about the « right2water ». In fact, more than 1, 6 million of citizens from 11 countries have signed a petition to protest against the privatization of water in municipalities. As a consequence, the European Union has decided to set aside the privatization project, which would have been a concession to private companies. This is also a real success for the democracy in Europe. In fact, the German director and the French protagonists of the film were prosecuted because they revealed cases of corruption in the water management of private companies.

The progressive association of lawyers in Turkey (ÇHD) is honored as a representative of all Turkish lawyers, who are persecuted because of their commitment to the rule of law and democracy. Selcuk Kozagaçlı, chairman of the organization ÇHD, is at the moment like many other colleagues in detention awaiting his trial. Currently, charges are pressed against 46 lawyers, a procedure, which has been closely followed by representatives of the European Union. The latter agree that the trial has been from the beginning a violation of international and European law and also of Turkish law. The Turkish State accuses the lawyers not to perform their regular duties due to other commitments.

The Kant Foundation calls upon the government of Turkey to release Selçuk Kozagaçlı (chairman of the organization) so that he can come to the award ceremony. The ceremony will take place on the day of the celebration for Europe, May 9th, between 14h and 18h30 in the room of the University Albert-Ludwig in Fribourg. In order to celebrate the European day, the 290th anniversary of the birth of I. Kant (22. 04. 2014) and the 10th anniversary of the creation the Kant Foundation, invites to the 5th Kant World citizen Prize ceremony, which will be inaugurated with a panel discussion about “the future of the democracy and the rule of law in Europe”. The speakers who have already confirmed their attendance are Gerhart R. Baum, BM a. D., Prof. Dr. Oliver Lepsius and Heide Rühle (MdEP).