Reporters Without Borders’ chief and ‘tireless defender of press freedom’ passes away

International press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has announced the passing of its chief, Christophe Deloire, aged 53, following a battle with cancer.

Under his leadership, the organisation offered constant support for the campaign for justice for slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The organisation was instrumental in ensuring the launch of a public inquiry into the journalist’s murder, which found the state was responsible for her death.

Deloire was in Malta for the second anniversary of her death in 2019. Addressing the crowd that gathered in front of the protest memorial in Valletta, he urged the government to stop clearing the memorial – a daily practice while disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat was at the helm and implemented by Minister Owen Bonnici.

Deloire had described the government’s behaviour as “shocking”, and called for an end to impunity. He said the Maltese government needed to implement an ambitious programme for press freedom in the country.

Deloire held the post since 2012 and, in 12 years, transformed the organisation, marked by renewed growth and impact, into a global champion for the defence of journalism.

RSF said the organisation was deeply saddened by the loss. “Deloire was a tireless defender, on every continent, of the freedom, independence and pluralism of journalism in a context of information chaos. Journalism was his life’s struggle, which he fought with unshakeable conviction.”

The Executive Director of RSF in Germany, Christian Mihr, paid tribute to Deloire on social media. The two worked together on different missions, including the campaign for imprisoned Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Pierre Haski, chairman of RSF’s board of directors, said, “Christophe Deloire led the organisation at a crucial time for the right to information. His contribution to defending this fundamental right has been considerable. The Board of Directors shares in the grief of his family and friends.”


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15 days ago

Good man who’s skills will be missed RIP.

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