Netherlands: Veteran journalist dies from injuries after being shot

Dutch journalist Peter R. de Vries has died on 15 July at the age of 64, days after being shot five times in the street in Amsterdam in a targeted shooting. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) condemned the murder as another tragic blow to press freedom in Europe.

Credit: Bas Czerwinski / ANP / AFP

On 6 July, Peter R. de Vries was a guest on daily television programme RTL Boulevard. After leaving the building, he was shot several times at close range, including in the head, in a side street near the studio. Amsterdam’s mayor Femke Halsema told a press conference that the investigative journalist was “fighting for his life.” The police arrested three suspects. One was later released.

Peter R. de Vries (64) is a well-known Dutch investigative journalist who covered high-profile criminal investigations. He worked for De Telegraaf, Panorama magazine, Algemeen Dagblad and ran his own crime programme on television. He won an international Emmy Award in 2008 for his work investigating the 2006 disappearance of teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba.

On its web site RTL boulevard shared a message on behalf of Peter's family and his partner: "Peter fought to the end, but was unable to win the battle. He is surrounded by those who love him and has passed away. Peter has lived his belief: 'On bended knee is no way to be free'. We are immensely proud of him and at the same time inconsolable."


The Dutch Association of Journalists' General Secretary Thomas Bruning said: "’Peter R. de Vries was an iconic crime reporter and an unresting fighter for justice. An example for many. His death is unreal, and the anger at this brutal attack is great’’. 

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: "Today our thoughts are with Peter's family and friends. The loss of Peter is devastating for press freedom in Europe. He is the 3rd journalist killed this year on the continent. The Dutch government must send a clear message that freedom of the press is not negotiable and that there should be no impunity for the killing of journalists". 

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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