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The famous investigative journalist Peter R. de Vries, hit in an attack in the center of Amsterdam, fights between life and death.
“Peter R. de Vries is for all of us a national hero, an unusually courageous journalist who tirelessly seeks justice,” said Mayor Femke Halsema. Police Chief Frank Paauw said three people were arrested on suspicion of the assault. Two suspects were arrested in a car along the highway about 50 kilometers south of the city. A third in Amsterdam.
De Vries was considered a possible target of criminals whose activities he stubbornly denounced. Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the shooting “shocking and incomprehensible”, stressing that “an attack on a brave journalist is also an attack on free journalism which is essential for our democracy, our rule of law, our society”. King William Alexander and his wife, Queen Maxima, tweeted a message of support and said that “journalists must be free to carry out their important work without threats.”
De Vries had recently acted as a witness’s advisor and confidant in a major trial against alleged gang leader Ridouan Taghi, who was extradited to the Netherlands from Dubai in 2019. He is currently in prison while on trial alongside others. 16 defendants. De Vries won an international Emmy in 2008 for a television show he made about the disappearance of American teenager Natalee Holloway while on vacation on the Caribbean island of Aruba in 2005.