“An attack on the freedom of the press” comes to shock the Netherlands. Peter R. de Vries, a well-known Dutch journalist specializing in criminal matters, was seriously wounded by gunshot Tuesday evening July 6 in Amsterdam.
Peter R. de Vries was shot in a street in downtown Amsterdam around 7:30 p.m. as he stepped out of the studio of a talk show he was guest of. Witnesses heard five gunshots and saw the journalist shot in the head, state television NOS reported.
“He fights to stay alive”, commented Femke Halsema, Mayor of Amsterdam, at a press conference in the Dutch capital.
A personality known in the Netherlands for his role in several criminal cases, the 64-year-old journalist and television presenter has appeared regularly as a spokesperson for victims or in the inner circle of key witnesses.
Amsterdam Police Chief Frank Paauw announced the arrest of three people, two in a car on a highway and one in Amsterdam. Among them is probably the alleged shooter, he added, without giving more information on the arrests or on a possible motive for the crime.
“The attack on Peter R. de Vries is shocking and inconceivable, it is an attack on a courageous journalist and therefore an attack on the freedom of the press which is so essential for our democracy and our rule of law”Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at a press conference in The Hague. Together with the Minister for Justice and Security, Ferdinand Grapperhaus, they visited the National Agency for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV) in The Hague in the evening to “Discuss” of the case.
“It is a dark day, not only for those close to Peter R. de Vries but also for the freedom of the press”Mr. Grapperhaus told reporters. “We in the Netherlands want journalists to always be able to conduct any investigation which must be carried out in complete freedom. This freedom has been seriously violated this evening. “