Celebrity Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries has died just over a week after being shot in a busy Amsterdam street, his family and his employer RTL Netherlands said on Thursday, prompting an outpouring of grief and anger at home and abroad.
De Vries, 64, was well-known for his television programs, in which he often worked with victims’ families and tirelessly pursued unsolved cases. He had received threats in the past from the criminal underworld in connection with his work.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
Two men who were arrested on a highway shortly after the July 6 shooting, one of them a Polish national, remain in custody as murder suspects.
“Peter fought till the end but wasn’t able to win this battle. He died surrounded by the people who loved him,” his family said in a statement published by RTL Netherlands.
“He lived true to his motto: On bended knee is no way to be free.”
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte vowed to track down whoever was behind the shooting of a man he described as a determined and fearless reporter. The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said more must be done to protect investigative journalists.
After hearing of his death, people gathered to lay flowers at the scene of the shooting, Dutch news agency ANP reported.
Journalists at risk
Global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said De Vries’ death showed Europe was “failing to protect its journalists. There has been a distinct worsening since 2017,” RSF spokeswoman Pauline Ades-Mevel.
In 2017, Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed in a car bomb. In 2018, a Slovak journalist and his girlfriend were shot dead at home, as was a Greek reporter, near his home, in April.
In his tribute to De Vries, Rutte said: “This act of cowardice cannot go unpunished.”
Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus said an investigation would examine whether the government had provided the reporter with proper security.
De Vries won an international Emmy Award in the current affairs category in 2008 for his work investigating the 2005 disappearance of US teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba.
At home he was known for his work on numerous cases, including the 1983 kidnapping of beer magnate Freddy Heineken.
In 2013 Willem Holleeder, one of the Heineken kidnappers, was convicted of making threats against De Vries, who had helped police in murder cases which ultimately led to a life sentence for Holleeder.
In 2019 Ridouan Taghi, currently on trial for murder and drug trafficking, took the unusual step of making a public statement denying reports that he had threatened to have De Vries killed.
Hong Kong journalist union says press freedom is ‘in tatters’Hong Kong’s press freedoms are “in tatters” as China remolds the once outspoken business hub in its own authoritarian image, the city’s main ... World News
Masih Alinejad: How Iran threatened and attempted to kidnap a US journalistThe image on the alleged Iranian intelligence operative’s device was chilling: A graphic showing photos of two Iranian dissidents captured overseas. ... Features
US charges four Iranian nationals with kidnapping a US-based journalistUS prosecutors have charged four Iranians, alleged to be intelligence operatives for Tehran, with plotting to kidnap a New York journalist who was ... World News
Two journalists in Lebanon released after reportedly being detained by Hezbollah“The mere fact that those who did this feel free to do so without any concern … [is] a strong indicator to the identity of the perpetrator,” the Samir Kassir Foundation's executive director said. Middle East
Hong Kong police arrest former Apple Daily journalist at airport: Local mediaHong Kong police arrested a former senior journalist with the Apple Daily newspaper at the international airport on Sunday night on a suspected ... World News
Two journalists killed in bus crash in northwest IranTwo Iranian journalists were killed and 21 others were injured on Wednesday when a bus carrying journalists overturned and crashed in northwest Iran, ... Middle East
France kills extremist suspected in journalists’ killingA French military offensive in Mali has killed an extremist leader linked to al-Qaeda who is believed to have helped orchestrate the kidnapping and ... World News
UK’s Raab condemns state TV interview with detained Belarus journalist ProtasevichBritain’s foreign minister Dominic Raab on Friday condemned an interview given by detained journalist Roman Protasevich on Belarusian state television ... World News
Journalists who fled Myanmar find third-country refugeThree journalists from military-ruled Myanmar who were convicted of illegal entry after they fled to Thailand have been sent to a third country where ... World News