Two years after the death of Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff in Ukraine, RSF and the family of the French journalist call for justice

Journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff was killed on 30 May 2022 by a strike while covering the Russian invasion of Ukraine for the French channel BFMTV. Along with his family, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for an acceleration of the investigations conducted in France, Ukraine and internationally by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to identify and try the perpetrators. The fight against impunity for crimes committed against journalists must be a priority.

It is already two years since Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff paid with his life for covering the large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. The 32-year-old French journalist, a cameraman for BFMTV, was fatally wounded by shrapnel on 30 May 2022, when he was in a humanitarian truck filming the evacuation of Ukrainian civilians fleeing the Russian bombardment of the eastern city of Lysychansk. His BFMTV colleague Maxime Brandstaetter and their Ukrainian fixer Oksana Leuta, who were with him, were slightly injured in the attack. Investigations into his death in France, Ukraine and at the ICC are still ongoing.  

Ten days after Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff’s death, RSF organised a public gathering in Paris together with his BFMTV colleagues and his family so that tributes could be paid to him. A minute’s silence in his honour was observed on 30 May 2024 at the BFMTV studios, where a street has been named after him.

“Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff lost his life on 30 May 2022 while covering the Russian invasion of Ukraine. His name is synonymous with a generation of journalists committed to covering this war. It must not be associated with impunity for crimes of violence against reporters. The investigations carried out in France and Ukraine and by the ICC must lead to the perpetrators being identified and brought to trial.

Thibaut Bruttin
RSF deputy director-general

“We hope that justice will be done, because no journalist should be killed for doing their job. So many journalists throughout the world have been killed solely for trying to keep us informed. We must render them justice in order to defend our democracies.

Sylviane Imhoff
Frédéric’s mother

More than 100 journalists have been the victims of Russian crimes since Russia launched its large-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. Eleven of these journalists, including Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, were killed in the course of their work. RSF has simultaneously filed eight complaints about Russia’s war crimes with the Ukrainian prosecutor-general and the ICC, and two complaints with the French judicial authorities.

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