Help by sharing this information RSF_en CanadaAmericas Receive email alerts April 27, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Media ban on return of dead soldiers January 15, 2021 Find out more CanadaAmericas News to go further Organisation Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” On eve of the G20 Riyadh summit, RSF calls for public support to secure the release of jailed journalists in Saudi Arabia “We must impose democratic obligations on the leading digital players” November 11, 2020 Find out more News Reporters Without Borders has protested against the April 22 ban imposed by the federal government on TV coverage of the return of soldiers killed in Afghanistan. On the evening of April 25, the media were not allowed into the military airbase at Trenton, near Toronto.“The Canadian government is following the bad example set by the U.S. administration if it thinks it can hide the facts from the population. Respect for the grief of the families is of course necessary, but it should not be used as a pretext that is tantamount to censorship,” said Reporters Without Borders.On April 22, four Canadian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor almost immediately banned all media coverage of the return of the soldiers’ remains. On April 25, Cyberpresse reported that the media were denied access to the military airbase at Trenton, near Toronto. “If they brought my son home from that war in a body bag, I’d shoot the first media that come on site,” Conservative MP Myron Thompson is quoted as saying in the Montreal Gazette.In the House of Commons, opposition parties unanimously criticized the decision of the new Harper government. According to Cyberpresse, Liberal leader Bill Graham said the government sought to “reduce the impact of such incidents on the population”. Mr Graham drew a parallel with a similar move by the Bush administration, which since the beginning of the war in Iraq banned media coverage of soldiers’ caskets returning from that country. Not all Conservatives are behind government censorship however, and even less so are some of the military families. Although the government has said that it is imposing this measure “out of respect for families’ grief”, Defence Minister O’Connor acknowledged that he never consulted the families in question. Some of them did however complain to Stephen Harper. The Prime Minister Office and the Defence Department have not responded to requests by the Canadian Section of Reporters Without Borders. November 19, 2020 Find out more News News Follow the news on Canada
Valdespino wins Simon Award February 15, 2003 Managing Editor Regular News Valdespino wins Simon Award Mark D. Killian Managing EditorApproaching pro bono work as a “calling rather than an obligation,” Jacqueline Marie Valdespino has been a tireless advocate for ensuring children have a voice in the courtroom and is committed to the proposition that “no one ever enter the complicated, often dark halls of justice without a competent lawyer guiding the way.”Valdespino, the 2003 Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award recipient, was presented the award by Justice Charles T. Wells during a special ceremony of the Supreme Court. The award commemorates Miami civil rights lawyer Tobias Simon, who died in February 1982, and is intended to encourage and recognize extraordinary contributions by Florida lawyers in making legal services available to the indigent and to focus public awareness on the substantial voluntary services rendered by Florida lawyers.“We are very committed to the proposition that there has to be — for our communities to work, for our state to work, for our nation to work — justice for the poor as well as justice for all others in our society,” said Justice Wells, who, as the senior justice on the court, filled in for Chief Justice Harry Lee Anstead who was stuck in a snow storm in Virginia and was unable to attend the ceremony. “For the underprivileged and the elite, there must be access to the courts.”Also honored during the ceremony January 30 was the firm of Carlton Fields, which received the Chief Justice’s Law Firm Commendation, and the Indian River County Bar Association, which won the court’s Voluntary Bar Association Pro Bono Service Award.A lawyer from each circuit also was honored with The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Awards, and Laurel F. Moore of Tampa received the Young Lawyers Division Legal Aid Public Service Award.“You advocate and protect the rights of those who are uneducated, unsophisticated, and those in need of a good lawyer,” Bar President Tod Aronovitz told the honorees. “You represent the highest ideals of our profession. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg comments on lawyers like you when she said, ‘It is incumbent on anyone who regards lawyering not simply as a trade but as a true profession to advance more responsible performance to ensure that legal aid will be there when needed.’ You truly recognize lawyering as a profession.”Fighting back tears, Valdespino said while she was being honored individually, she accepted the Simon award on behalf of all the lawyers who toil to do their share to provide the poor with meaningful access to the courts.“Today is really a celebration of our collective efforts,” said Valdespino, of Valdespino & Associates. “Together we represent individual capabilities brought together for a greater good; the greater good of the people of the state of Florida. I am blessed because I know that I stand before a group of unselfish individuals who collectively do more for the underprivileged than any other professional group.”Valdespino, a Bar member since 1988, began her commitment to children even before she became a lawyer. In college, Valdespino volunteered as a guardian ad litem representing children in dependency and delinquency proceedings, and she continued to volunteer her time after entering law school.Valdespino said each year Florida lawyers come together in greater numbers to provide free services to those less fortunate.“Our efforts lead us to the homeless, the accused, the oppressed, the cheated, the elderly, the poor, the ignored, the abused, those deprived of their civil rights, those in need of advocacy, and to the most needy, our children,” Valdespino said. “We answer the call, but every day there are more in need. While the call is answered, the need is barely lessened. So very much still needs to be done.”Valdespino said she could not do all she does without the assistance of the dedicated lawyers and staff of the 11th Circuit’s Put Something Back pro bono project.“Not only do these men and women work hard to assure that the legal needs of the disadvantaged are met, they provide free CLE seminars to educate lawyers so that they can competently serve,” Valdespino said. “I accept this award on behalf of my friends and colleagues at the Put Something Back project because I know that without their commitment to providing justice for all, I would not be standing here.”Valdespino said her inspiration for service comes from her mother, Norma Valdespino, who immigrated to America from Cuba in 1959.“She left behind all that she had and all that she knew for the promise of this great country,” Valdespino said. “She arrived with nothing but has managed to give me everything. Her sacrifices and hard work are the ladder for my success.”Valdespino said her mother’s example instilled in her the knowledge that there was always someone less fortunate who could benefit from her help.“If my mother is my inspiration, my friends are my constant reminder that if service is not rendered with kindness and civility then it fails the mark,” Valdespino said.In her first year as a sole practitioner, Valdespino received the Put Something Back Pro Bono Service Award in recognition of her outstanding commitment and service to the disadvantaged. She has received that recognition every year since. In 1997 she was the Put Something Back Guardian ad Litem of the year. Since 1992, she has accepted appointments through the Put Something Back program, as well as at the request of the judges of the Family Division in 33 pro bono guardian ad litem cases. In 2000, she received the Ray H. Pearson Guardian ad Litem Award.Wells noted that in 1995, Valdespino accepted appointment as a guardian ad litem in a particularly contentious family case. Valdespino’s devotion assured that the child’s voice was heard through numerous post-dissolution trials, appeals, and remands. The court file numbers over 23 volumes, and the case continued for seven years.Between 1999-2001 Valdespino served on the board of the Child Abuse Prevention Program, which provides education to school children in an effort to prevent child abuse. Since 1996, Valdespino has participated in the Family Law Section Pro Bono Mentor Program, assisting young lawyers in family law cases.
THE Guyana National Rifle Association (GuyanaNRA) was on Sunday evening hailed for its successful hosting of the West Indies FullBore Shooting Council (WIFBSC) championships and the 150th Anniversary shoot.The commendations were in no mean order as the body held their presentation dinner at the Ramada Hotel.“I think that the GuyanaNRA should be commended for hosting such a shoot of this quality,” according to the president of the WIFBSC Retired Col, John Nelson.He stated that the work of the body cannot be underrated as the transformation that took place at the Timehri Ranges was major.After one week of shooting, Guyana carted off the Milex/Crown Mining Long Range trophy before returning to take the WIFBSC Short Range title.Fullbore captain Mahendra Persaud collects the overall aggregate plaque from GuyanaNRA president Brigadier Patrick West. The plaque is given to the person who scores the most after the entire week of shooting.In addition, Guyana’s Fullbore captain Mahendra Persaud was in fine form as he won the Individual championship for the X Class shooter while Trinidad and Tobago’s Varma Rambarran won the O class just ahead of Guyana’s Roberto Tiwari.Meanwhile, in the 150th Anniversary shoot, Guyana won the Long Range title but finished third in the Short Range division behind Ireland and England respectively.In addressing those gathered, Fullbore captain Persaud recounted the hardships of running the weeklong event.“We were in the shortfall by a considerable amount and we still are. I don’t want to bore you with that but we are happy that the championships went the way it went. We have set the bar at a new standard and I hope the bar continually rises.”