French journalist Frédéric Leclerc Imhoff was killed in Ukraine on May 30, 2022. (Photo credit: Twitter / BFM TV)

French journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff killed in Ukraine

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CPJ is deeply saddened by the death of French journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff while covering the war in Ukraine, and calls on Russian and Ukrainian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of his death. Leclerc-Imhoff, a reporter for French broadcast BFMTV, was reported killed on Monday after an armored evacuation vehicle came under “enemy fire” as Russian troops entered the outskirts of the Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk, according to statements by BFMTV and Luhansk regional governor, Serhiy Haidai. “Journalists are civilians who show particular courage by reporting from war zones and should never be targeted for their work,” said CPJ Executive Director Robert Mahoney. France’s foreign minister, Catherine Colonna, said Leclerc-Imhoff was killed by a Russian attack “while he was carrying out his duty to inform.”

In other Russia-Ukraine war press freedom news, Ukrainian journalist Mykola Pastukh was seriously injured by shelling in eastern Ukraine on May 28.

Check out CPJ’s Russia-Ukraine Watch, updated weekly on Thursdays here, and sign up to receive a daily digest of our coverage of the war and press freedom here.

Global press freedom updates 

  • Camera operator and TV host Ricardo Ávila shot, killed in southwest Honduras
  • News investigations suggest Israeli military culpability in killing of Shireen Abu Akleh
  • Journalists Yayesew Shimelis and Temesgen Desalegn detained in Ethiopia
  • Sierra Leone publisher Chernoh Alpha Bah threatened with death, charges of treason 
  • Istanbul police beat, tear gas, detain journalists while breaking up public protest. Separately in Turkey, legislators introduce disinformation bill, seek more online control
  • Iranian freelance journalist Arash Ghaleh-Golab detained during mourning ceremony
  • Colombia’s Indigenous ‘communicators’ face special challenges reporting for their communities 
  • Afghan journalist Ali Akbar Khairkhah disappears in Kabul, Taliban cracks down on women reporters. Separately, Taliban intelligence agents detain four media workers in Kabul, Herat, and Paktia provinces
  • Russian SOTA journalist Pyotr Ivanov assaulted in retaliation for reporting
  • Exiled Belarusian journalists face terrorism charges; former journalist detained
  • Armenia parliament passes bill allowing state bodies to revoke journalist accreditation
  • Cameroon sports journalist Eyong Macdella Bessong assaulted over accreditation card dispute
  • Alleged PKK supporters attack Kurdistan 24 broadcast crew in Iraqi Kurdistan
  • South Sudan state government suspends Radio Jonglei for five days over political coverage
  • Iraqi federal police detain Kurdistan TV crew in Kirkuk


Around the world, attacks on journalists and the institution of journalism have been on the increase. Amnesty International’s Bay Area (Houston) chapter and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Houston chapter are hosting a panel discussion on Monday to discuss violence, denial of access, arrests, and other incidents involving reporters in the U.S. and abroad. Panelists include CPJ’s North America Program Coordinator Katherine Jacobsen; Elle Toussi, co-chair of SPJ’s international community; and Lisa Konczal of Amnesty International-USA. The event will take place on June 6 at 7:15 p.m. EDT/6:15 p.m. CDT. The event is free and will be held by Zoom. RSVP here.

We need your input! CPJ and the Global Reporting Center at the University of British Columbia are collaborating on a survey on disinformation and harassment targeting journalists. The survey will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete, and all your responses will be anonymous by default. Take the survey here.

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