His family, his colleagues from BFMTV, including reporter Maxime Brandstaetter who teamed up with him in Ukraine, his partner Sam Cottet were present, alongside Marc-Olivier Fogiel, general manager of BFMTV, and Christophe Deloire, secretary general of RSF , noted an AFP journalist on the spot.
Frédéric was a “sweet and joyful person, so don’t be sad”, declared Sylviane Imhoff, in front of several hundred people participating in this rally at the call of RSF, during which she recalled the journey of her son.
“Giving a voice to the most humble, to the invisible” was part of “the values from which it was steeped”, she underlined, moved, referring to previous reports with chambermaids in large hotels in particular.
“The editorial staff is in mourning. We mourn a committed journalist”, underlined for his part Marc-Olivier Fogiel, describing a professional anything but “hothead” who “wanted to tell the world”. The channel will continue to cover the conflict, he added.
Sam Cottet, the journalist’s companion, reminded him how much his job was a “vocation for him, despite his precarious status”.
We shared a “deep and radical militancy often joyful, sometimes difficult, even unsustainable”, he underlined, describing a relationship of almost a year with a “real life partner full of patience and spirit”.
The rally was marked by chants – “Ma France” by Jean Ferrat taken up by the crowd – and a long minute of applause.
The body of Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, killed on May 30 by shrapnel during a bombardment, was repatriated to France overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, in the presence of the Minister of Culture Rima Abdul Malak. Late Wednesday morning, his colleagues at BFMTV observed a minute of silence in his memory.
Aged 32, this tall dark-haired man with soft features, described by those close to him as “queer, vegan, anti-speciesist, anti-capitalist”, had worked for BFMTV for six years and was carrying out his second mission there in Ukraine, as an image reporter (JRI ).
Graduated in 2014, he had been trained at the Institute of Journalism Bordeaux Aquitaine (Ijba), after studying philosophy in Paris.
On Friday, several of his Ijba comrades said he had “died doing one of the things that gave meaning to his existence”.
“He was the 8th journalist to find the word in this conflict,” said Christophe Deloire of RSF, hailing a “brilliant committed, passionate and benevolent” professional.
After the announcement of his death, the French National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor’s Office (Pnat) announced the opening of a war crimes investigation.
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna tweeted that the journalist had been “killed by a Russian bombardment”.