2 UN human rights experts visit Detroit, say city should restore water to those unable to pay

IndustriesAssociated Press

United Nations human rights experts have called on Detroit officials to restore water to those unable to pay, including those with disabilities or chronic illnesses.

Two experts visiting Detroit to observe the effect of water service shutoffs said Monday that shutoffs affect the poorest and most vulnerable. They say it discriminates against Detroit's majority black population.

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Leilani Farha and Catarina de Albuquerque say water should be affordable, not free.

The city says about 27,000 shutoffs were made between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30.

Most shutoffs were halted for several weeks during the summer to give customers a chance to enter payment plans.

Groups opposing the shutoffs appealed to the U.N. for support.