Attempt to murder Dutch reporter – “even in a country ranked 6th in the press freedom index!”
Following the arrests of three suspects in last night’s shooting attack on crime reporter Peter R. de Vries in the heart of Amsterdam, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Dutch authorities to conduct a swift and thorough investigation and to protect journalists who could be targeted by organised crime, so that this murder attempt does not have a chilling effect on journalism.
Peter R. De Vries was badly injured in the attack, which occurred shortly after he participated in an RTL Boulevard TV program about a criminal case. A specialist in covering crime for more than 40 years, this veteran reporter enjoys a great deal of respect in both the journalistic community and Dutch public. At the same time, he has received threats from within organised crime circles in connection with his coverage of both old and ongoing cases. The police said they have detained three suspects in the shooting.
“The attempted murder of Peter R. de Vries shows the scale of the increase in threats against journalists in Europe” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “It is staggering to see that such an attack can be carried out in one of the countries where press freedom is guaranteed most, the Netherlands being ranked 6th in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index. Deloire added: “We ask the Dutch authorities to conduct a swift and thorough investigation and to guarantee the protection of journalists who could be targeted by organised crime. Everything possible must be done to prevent this cowardly attack from having a chilling effect on journalists.”
Deliberate killings of journalists have become more frequent in the European Union in recent years. After the murders of Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta in 2017 and Jan Kuciak in Slovakia in 2018, Greek crime reporter Giorgios Karaivaz was murdered in Athens in April.