Tuesday, July 5

A journalist investigating organized crime in serious condition after being shot in Amsterdam

A well-known Dutch journalist, Peter R. de Vries, who specializes in organized crime, is hospitalized in serious condition after being shot in the middle of the street in Amsterdam and hit in the head.

De Vries, 64, was taken to hospital with serious injuries, confirmed the Dutch police, according to which several shots were fired and confirmed the identity of the victim, while multiple images circulating on social networks showed the journalist lying in the ground with head injuries.

The attack on the reporter took place around 7.30pm local time (7.30pm GMT), on Lange Leidsedwarsstraat, a street in the heart of Amsterdam, near the RTL Boulevard studios, where he had been invited as a talkative.

At a press conference tonight, the mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, spoke of an “attack” on the investigative journalist and called the victim “a national hero” and a “brave journalist”, who has been the subject of a “Brutal and cowardly crime.”

Regarding his health, Halsema only stressed that he is “fighting for his life” in the hospital and reiterated that he was “seriously injured” after the attack.

Three suspects arrested

The capital’s police chief, Frank Paauw, announced that three suspects had been arrested in connection with the incident, including the possible perpetrator of the shooting.

The Dutch Police initially announced that they were looking for a man with white skin, thin complexion, in a dark green camouflage-style coat and a black cap, who would be the author of the shooting and who would have fled immediately after shooting to De Vries.

This journalist is known in the Netherlands for his investigations into organized crime, and even acted as an informant in police or judicial cases in high-profile cases in the country, including the well-known Marengo case, which involves crimes such as murders and drug trafficking.

In 2019 it was also known that he was on the black list of the drug trafficker and leader of the Dutch mafia, Ridouan Taghi (then on the run), and that was when he began to be protected by the Police for death threats, but it is not clear if he still counted with protection of a bodyguard.

The brother and lawyer of the most important protected witness in the Marengo case, Nabil B., were shot and killed in Amsterdam two years ago, in an attempt to silence them from testifying in the ongoing trial with Taghi and his men.

The shooting has caused a stir in the Netherlands whose government has called a meeting to discuss what happened. The leader of the far right, Geert Wilders, called it “terrible”, while the general secretary of the Netherlands Association of Journalists, Thomas Bruning, called it a “punch to journalism”.