Our team

Laurent Richard

Founder and executive director

Laurent is a French award-winning documentary filmmaker, producer, and founder of Forbidden Stories, a global network of journalists whose mission is to pursue the investigations of reporters who have been murdered, jailed or threatened. Richard has directed documentaries for 20 years.

He was a Knight-Wallace Fellow in 2017 at the University of Michigan and was named European Journalist of the year 2018 by the Prix Europa in Berlin. Read more.



Sandrine Rigaud


Sandrine Rigaud is a French investigative journalist. As editor of Forbidden Stories since 2019, she coordinated the “Pegasus Project” published in July 2021 and the “Cartel Project,” a massive cross-border collaboration to finish the investigations of a murdered Mexican journalist that won a George Polk Award and the Maria Moors Cabot Prize. She has also coordinated “Story Killers”, The “María Teresa investigation” and The “Bruno and Dom Project”

Before joining Forbidden Stories, she directed feature length documentaries for French television. Read more.



Annie Hylton

Deputy editor-in-chief

Annie Hylton is an award-winning investigative journalist and magazine writer from Canada. Known for her nuanced, empathetic portrayal of complex subjects and hard-hitting investigations, her writing aims to illustrate the human stakes behind harmful policies. She writes about gender, migration, human rights, and post-conflict transitional justice from the Middle East, Central America, and Africa, among others. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The New Republic, The London Review of Books, Esquire UK, The Walrus, and many others.

She is an associate professor at Sciences Po Paris and trained as an international lawyer. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism and holds a J.D. and Master of Laws in international humanitarian law and human rights.



Cécile Andrzejewski

Cécile Andrzejewski


Cécile Andrzejewski joined Forbidden Stories as an investigative journalist in January 2022.

As a member of the freelance collective Youpress, she has worked extensively with Mediapart, collaborated with the Investigate Europe consortium and participated in the Zero Impunity project, on sexual violence in wartime. In 2019, her book “Silence sous la blouse”, an investigation on sexual violence in French hospitals, was shortlisted for the Albert-Londres Prize. Follow on Twitter.



Phineas Rueckert


Phineas Rueckert joined Forbidden Stories as an investigative journalist in September 2020. Before joining the team, he worked as a reporter at Global Citizen in New York City, where he reported on humanitarian issues.

He holds a joint master’s degree in journalism and human rights with a focus on Latin America from Sciences Po in Paris, and his previous work has been published in AFP, News Deeply and Atlas Obscura. Follow on Twitter.



Léa Peruchon


Léa Peruchon joined Forbidden Stories as an investigative journalist in September 2021.

After obtaining her master’s degree in journalism, she wrote various articles for the French regional daily “37 Degrés.” She has also collaborated with a number of press agencies, including Premières Lignes Télévision on the programme Cash Investigation and Zed Productions on a France 5 documentary about vacationers in North Africa in the 1980s. In 2021, she assisted in the production of a documentary on post-traumatic stress disorder for France 3. Follow on Twitter.



Youssr Youssef


Youssr Youssef joined Forbidden Stories as an investigative journalist in September 2022.

Addicted to data and investigations, she holds a dual degree in statistics and journalism from ENSAE and Sciences Po Paris. Before joining the team, she worked as a data journalist for the newspaper Le Figaro. Her documentary: “René Carmille, un hacker sous l’Occupation,” about the founder of the French national institute of statistics and the issue of personal data, won awards at multiple festivals in 2022.



Karine Pfenniger

Karine Pfenniger


Karine Pfenniger joined Forbidden Stories as an investigative journalist in September 2022.

A financial crime nerd, she previously worked as a journalist at Gotham City in Switzerland and participated in cross-border investigative projects the Pandora Papers with Cash Investigation and Congo Hold-Up with Mediapart. She also reported for AFP and L’Obs. She holds a joint master’s degree in journalism and international economy policy from Sciences Po in Paris. Follow on Twitter.



Paciane Rouchon


Paciane Rouchon joined Forbidden Stories as an investigative journalist in September 2023.

After studying languages in France, Scotland and Italy, Paciane graduated with a double Master’s Degree in Specialized Translation, from the Université de Haute-Alsace (France) and the International University of Languages and Media (Italy). Shortly after, she decided to leave translation for journalism, with one objective in mind: investigation. Trained at the Sciences Po School of Journalism, in Paris, she began her new career by a brief detour in local press. She published some stories in the French media Ouest-France, before joining Forbidden Stories.



Fanny Toubin

SafeBox Network Project Manager

Fanny joined Forbidden Stories as the SafeBox Network project manager in May 2023. Fanny previously spent nearly 5 years at Reporters Without Borders where she worked at the Assistance Desk, defining and implementing a support strategy for journalists and media outlets at risk. Fanny has a wealth of knowledge regarding the challenges related to the safety and security of media workers around the world. She holds a master’s degree in international cooperation and NGOs from Paris XIII University and has worked at numerous organizations in France and abroad.



Aïda Delpuech


Aïda Delpuech joined Forbidden Stories as an investigative journalist in January 2023.

She has a master’s degree in political philosophy from EHESS and ENS, and worked for Cash Investigation and Inkyfada, an independent Tunisian media outlet. She was previously a freelance journalist, specializing in environmental issues in North Africa and the Mediterranean. Her work has been published in BBC Future, El País, Al Jazeera English, Courrier International, Climate Home News, Reporterre, and others. Aida is a member of the Environmental Investigative Forum and the Oxford Climate Journalism Network. Follow her on Twitter.



Eloïse Layan


Eloïse Layan joined Forbidden Stories as a journalist coordinator of the SafeBox Network in February 2023. She previously worked abroad, spending five years in India, and reporting from Senegal for French television (France 2). She has primarily investigated social issues, in particular drug trafficking networks, but has also reported on environmental topics. In France, she worked for Martin Weill’s reporting program. She is interested in science reporting, having previously studied cognitive science and modeling.



Emmanuel Colombié

Latin America journalist coordinator for the SafeBox Network

Emmanuel Colombié joined the Forbidden Stories team in September 2023, as a journalist coordinator of the SafeBox Network in Latin America.
Originally from the south-west of France, he is a graduate of a management school and a journalism school, and worked as a print media business journalist for 6 years before moving to Brazil in 2014. From Rio de Janeiro, he founded, developed and ran the Latin America desk at Reporters Without Borders (RSF) for over 7 years, specializing in press freedom issues in this complex region. Before joining Forbidden Stories, Emmanuel also worked as an investigative journalist for RSF.



Yuliana Calvillo Solis

SafeBox Network Project Officer

Yuliana joined Forbidden Stories as project officer in October 2023.

She has a Master’s of Arts in Diplomacy and International Law from the American University of Paris, where she partook in in-depth research of the humanitarian situation of various countries most notably Palestine and Afghanistan. Prior to joining the team, she completed an internship at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) where she wrote a report on school meal programs in the OECD and performed extensive research on trends shaping children’s health and education. Before this, she also worked as an Administrative Support Coordinator for Sonoma State University in California.



Sara Guglielmi

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Sara Guglielmi has been in charge of administration, finance, fundraising, and HR for Forbidden Stories since August 2020.

Before joining Forbidden Stories, she worked for three years as a project manager at CFI, a French media development agency, on projects in South East Asia, Caucasus and Arab world, and then as a consultant at UNESCO’s International Program for the Development of Communication (IPDC) on projects related to journalism education.



Violaine Saint-Martin

Administrative and Financial Officer

Violaine Saint-Martin joined Forbidden Stories as an administrative and financial officer in August 2023.

She holds a master degree in financial audit and management control from a business school. Before joining Forbidden Stories, she worked for three years as a financial auditor in a large audit and consulting firm where she was responsible for managing and conducting statutory audit engagements.



Clément Le Merlus

Head of development

Clément Le Merlus joined Forbidden Stories as a journalist in 2020. Former Safebox Network project manager, he is now Head of development.

He previously worked in New Zealand, within the New Zealand Olympic Committee communication department, and then as a journalist for the country’s largest daily newspaper, The New Zealand Herald. Graduated in investigative journalism in Sciences Po Rennes, he also reported for Libération.



Clarisse Jacq

Head of communications

Clarisse has been in charge of communications at Forbidden Stories since August 2023.

Graduated from Sciences Po Paris, she previously worked on development assistance policies at the OECD, and then within the Economic department of the French Embassy in Jordan. Later on, she joined the cabinet of the French Minister for Economic inclusion as a speechwriter and press & communication advisor.



Emma Chailloux

Executive assistant

Emma joined Forbidden Stories as Laurent’s executive assistant in September 2023.

After graduating from UCL with a BA in Comparative Politics and Translation Studies, she worked as an editorial assistant at Accidental European, France Inter, and the OECD. Then, she pursued her MSc in Politics and Communication at the LSE. In June 2022, along with some of her university peers, she assisted the launch of No Impunity, a platform funding legal action for communities impacted by human rights violations and environmental damage.

She speaks French, Swedish, English and Spanish fluently.