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Christophe Deloire, Who Strove to Protect Journalists, Dies at 53

WorldChristophe Deloire, Who Strove to Protect Journalists, Dies at 53

Christophe Deloire, whose nonpartisan organization to protect journalists rescued dissidents from jail and championed a diversity of viewpoints in the profession around the world, died on Saturday in Paris. He was 53.

The cause was complications of brain cancer, according to Reporters Without Borders, the media group for which he served as secretary general for the last 12 years.

Mr. Deloire, who was himself a journalist and an author, lobbied publicly and labored behind the scenes to promote a free press in countries that muzzled journalists. He helped negotiate freedom for those who had been threatened with arrest, imprisoned or held hostage.

In 2023, Reporters Without Borders, known by its French initials R.S.F., coordinated the clandestine escape of Marina Ovsyannikova, a former Russian state TV journalist who incensed the Kremlin by storming a live news program in 2022 to denounce the invasion of Ukraine.

Ms. Ovsyannikova was fined and forced to choose between prison and exile. Then, after another public protest, she was placed under house arrest pending a trial. On her lawyers’ advice, she fled Russia with her 11-year-old daughter, evading the authorities by switching cars several times before trudging through mud to cross the border and make her way to France.


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