Died Thursday (15) Dutch journalist Peter R. De Vries, 64, was shot dead in central Amsterdam last week. “Peter fought to the end, but he couldn’t win the battle. He died surrounded by those who loved him,” the family said in a statement. “He lived true to his motto: ‘You cannot be free on your knees.’
De Vries was the target of an attack on the night of the 6th, in the center of the Dutch capital, as he was leaving a television studio. Two suspects are under arrest. They were identified by the local press as Kamil E., a 35-year-old Pole, and Delano G., 21.
Specializing in crime coverage, Vries was a celebrity in the Netherlands as a host and commentator on crime shows. He won an International Emmy Award for investigating the disappearance of an American teenager in Aruba in 2005. Throughout his career, he has been threatened with death several times. On social media, your son wrote last week that “the worst nightmare [da família] has become reality “.
On Thursday, the RTL Netherlands television station said in a statement that “Peter’s influence is stronger than any hate attack. We will continue to speak openly about the abuses and injustices in society, as he has done. all his life”.
The country’s Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, also lamented the death on social media. “To see justice done is a debt we owe Peter R. de Vries. We cannot and will not tolerate it in the Netherlands. This act of cowardice cannot go unpunished.
Politicians across Europe condemned last week’s attack, seen as an attack on press freedom.
King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands called the case an “attack on journalism, a pillar of the rule of law” during a protest seen as proof of the journalist’s importance, as royalty does not usually comment on individual cases. “And it is also an attack on our constitutional order,” he said.
Charles Michel, President of the Council of Europe, also spoke, qualifying this crime as an attack “against our democratic values”. “We will continue to tirelessly defend press freedom.
The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, meanwhile said that the media are the backbone of democracy and that attacks on journalists are “attacks on all of us”.
Tom Gibson, European Union representative for the Committee to Protect Journalists, an American press freedom NGO, said “European Union journalists must be able to investigate crime and corruption without fear for their safety ”.
In the latest press freedom ranking from the NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Netherlands ranks sixth out of 180 countries, behind Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Costa Rica.