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Tribute to Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff killed in Ukraine: a “committed and altruistic” journalist, remember his relatives

Colleagues, journalists, friends… Hundreds of them gathered on Friday, June 10, at the end of the afternoon, Place de la République in Paris to pay tribute to Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff, French reporter for BFMTV, died in Donbass, Ukraine, at the end of May, at the age of 32. A tribute to salute the memory of both the young man and the journalist.

Many interventions followed one another, to talk about his work, the way he conceived of his job in the field. Among those present: the editorial director of BFMTV, Marc-Olivier Fogiel, the secretary general of Reporters Without Borders, Christophe Deloire, but also members of his family and or his companion, Sam Cottet

Place de la République in Paris, during the tribute to Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, June 10, 2022. (NATHANAEL CHARBONNIER / FRANCE-INFO)

“Our friends are dying, our neighbors are dying, let’s not look away”. This is what can be read on the sign of his former classmates from journalism school. Audrey is one of them:“He took a huge risk for the right to inform, a risk taken for others”. She describes an altruistic, sensitive comrade. “Frédéric has always been a very committed, very altruistic person”. Obsessed with the idea of ​​giving a voice to the voiceless, to all those “to whom we never hand the microphone”. All of this transpired in her work, she says. “But he was also very funny, always there for his friends. He was a really nice person”. Like her classmates, she is revolted because of what is happening in Ukraine, “We are personally affected by the death of our friend”.

Defend freedom of the press

The management of BFMTV recalled that Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff was not a hothead. His mission had been made as secure as possible, and during this gathering tribute was also paid to those who worked with him: Maxime Brandstaetter, journalist who was injured in the leg during the explosion of the shell, as well as Oksana Leuta, the “fixer” Ukrainian from the BFMTV team, which helps production and translation of subjects.

A rally, too, to remind us that freedom of the press is precious and never acquired. Everywhere else, but also in France. Since the beginning of the year, thirty-one journalists have died worldwide. Eight perished in Ukraine. Five hundred are currently imprisoned.

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