This activity report will give a broad picture of the activities undertaken over the second year of the plan in pursuit of these objectives.To promote the development of free and independent press globally WAN has continued and intensified its day-to-day mission of protesting the jailing and murder of journalists and the censorship, suspension and banning of newspapers and magazines world-wide. Even the most repressive governments have been seen to bend under the pressure and publicity that we and other organisations can give to their crimes.
We have organized more than 250 protest campaigns, directed at over 50 countries, through petitions, letters, complaints to inter-governmental organisations, editorial exposure, and diplomatic pressure from our own governments. One such campaign, where WAN used all the means and influence at its disposition, led in July 2001 to the release of San San Nweh, the joint 2001 WAN Golden Pen laureate, from her prison in Burma.
In September 2001, WAN brought together more than 240 publishers, journalists and free press advocates from 25 countries in Bilbao, Spain, for a conference to examine attacks on the media by Basque terrorists. The conference followed the visit to Madrid and the Basque country by a WAN mission to investigate reports of an alarming increase in pressure, threats, intimidation and attacks on media by the ETA group. The Bilbao conference condemned ‘without reservation’ the ‘outrageous and cowardly’ attacks and expressed ‘total solidarity with journalists and media in the Basque country in their dangerous and courageous work’. Participants called on all political parties to denounce all forms of violence against the media.