New York, July 15, 2021 – In response to reports today that Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries died from injuries sustained in a shooting last week, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:
“Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries was long threatened for his investigative work, and with today’s tragic news, his killers have put an end to his reporting,” said CPJ’s EU representative, Tom Gibson, in Brussels. “Authorities in the Netherlands must ensure that those responsible for this heinous killing are held to account, and thoroughly and transparently investigate whether de Vries was targeted for his journalism.”
On July 6, de Vries was shot shortly after he appeared as a guest on the local broadcaster RTL Boulevard, as CPJ documented at the time. De Vries, 64, was a reporter and commentator who covered crime, and was on an “underworld hit list” due to his work as an adviser in a drug prosecution.
Police have detained two suspects in the killing, according to news reports. Authorities identified the suspected shooter as a 21-year-old Dutch man, and a 35-year-old Polish man living in the Netherlands was arrested as the suspected getaway driver, according to those reports, which did not identify the suspects by name.
The main target in that drug prosecution, alleged gang leader Ridouan Taghi, remains in jail pending trial, those reports said.