January 26, 2011 – On Friday, 26th, Adam Ma’anit, member of the organization Corporate Europe Observatory, was prevented from giving his talk on the role of corporations in policy-making at the “Public Eye on Davos” Conference challenging the World Economic Forum.

Mr. Ma’anit was detained by the Swiss police in Landquart and sent back to Basel to be deported back to the Netherlands. The decision of the police to send him back seems to be based purely on the person’s appearance. Mr. Ma’anit’s has long hair. He was stopped when changing trains in Landquart, searched, photographed and questioned at great length. This is not the first incident of the kind: Students distributing ‘Public Eye’ programs were detained in Davos, visitors and even journalists wanting to attend the Conference were stopped and many of them sent back.

The “Public Eye on Davos” is an NGO coalition organizing a public forum which questions the legitimacy of the WEF and challenges the Forum’s role in promoting economic globalisation. It does not support violence from any side.

The actions of the Police prevent the participants of the Public Eye to express their views freely and therefore denies the public access to alternative information. Peter Bosshard from the Berne Declaration says: “This behaviour clearly exposes the arbitrary double standards of the police and the Forum: While people carrying WEF programs and invitations have privileged access to Davos, visitors of the ‘Public Eye’ are treated as if they were criminals. These police state methods are clearly unacceptable.”

The ‘Public Eye on Davos’ protests against the Swiss police actions because they violate the UN Convention on Human Rights which guarantees the freedom of assembly, of movement and expression. A protest resolution will be handed out to the Police and the President of the Swiss Confederation, Moritz Leuenberger, after his speech at the “Public Eye” Conference today.

The Public Eye is a project carried out by 8 international NGOs and coordinated by the Berne Declaration.

Marianne Hochuli, Berne Declaration, 079 419 68 91
Tony Juniper, Friends of the Earth International, 0044 7712 843 207
Public eye on Davos Peter Bosshard email: publiceye(at)davos2001.ch mobile: 079 339 37 01

Ian Willmore Media Co-ordinator
Friends of the Earth 26-28 Underwood Street London N1 7JQ
Mobile: 07887 641344
Work: 0207 566 1657
Home: 0208 885 3779