New York, July 6, 2021 – In response to the shooting today of Dutch journalist Peter R. de Vries, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:
“Dutch authorities should swiftly and thoroughly investigate the shooting of crime reporter Peter R. de Vries, determine if he was targeted for his work, and ensure that the attacker and the masterminds of the attack face justice,” said Tom Gibson, CPJ’s European Union representative. “Journalists in the EU must be able to investigate crime and corruption without fearing for their safety.”
At about 7:30 p.m. today in Amsterdam, an unidentified attacker fired five shots at de Vries, an independent investigative journalist and crime reporter, according to multiple news reports. The attacker then fled the scene, and the journalist was taken to a local hospital in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head, those reports said.
The attack occurred just after de Vries appeared on the television show RTL Boulevard as a guest, according to those reports. De Vries has covered numerous high-profile criminal investigations, and previously received death threats in 2019 over his coverage of the killing of a teenager in Rotterdam, according to news reports.
At the time of the attack, he was also working as an advisor to the prosecution’s key witness in the trial of an alleged drug kingpin, which put him on a “criminal underworld hit list,” reports said.