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Thursday, Aug 11, 2022

Dutch journalist Peter De Vries has died of his injuries, say family

Dutch journalist Peter De Vries has died of his injuries, say family

De Vries, known for his reporting about the criminal underworld, was shot in Amsterdam on July 6.

Dutch crime journalist Peter De Vries, who was shot in Amsterdam on July 6, has died of his injuries, his family says.

Dutch media network RTL -- for whom De Vries worked -- carried a statement that read: “Peter fought to the end, but was unable to win the battle."

The family requested privacy so that it could "process his death in peace".

De Vries, 64, was shot on July 6 after making an appearance on Dutch TV. The journalist was famous for his reporting on the country's criminal underworld.

Dutch police have previously said that they have arrested a 21-year-old and a 35-year-old, nationals of the Netherlands and Poland, respectively, over the shooting. The former is believed to be the shooter while the latter is accused of driving the getaway car.

De Vries had recently been an adviser and confidant for a witness in the trial of the alleged leader and other members of a crime gang that police described as an “oiled killing machine.”.

The suspected gangland leader, Ridouan Taghi, was extradited to the Netherlands from Dubai in 2019. He remains jailed while standing trial along with 16 other suspects.

'An attack on journalism'

Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte led the tributes to De Vries in the Netherlands.

“Peter R. de Vries was always dedicated, tenacious, afraid of nothing and no one. Always seeking the truth and standing up for justice,” Rutte said in a tweet. “And that makes it all the more dramatic that he himself has now become the victim of a great injustice.”

Dutch King Willem Alexander last week called the shooting of De Vries “an attack on journalism, the cornerstone of our constitutional state and therefore also an attack on the rule of law.”

The slaying also struck a chord elsewhere in Europe, where murders on reporters are rare and where the killings of journalists in Slovakia and Malta in recent years raised concerns about reporters’ safety in developed, democratic societies.

“We might disagree with a lot we see in our media, but we have to agree that journalists investigating potential abuses of power are not a threat but an asset to our democracies and our societies,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told European Parliament lawmakers last week.


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