The Dutch Investigative Journalist Peter R. De Vries, seriously wounded by a gunshot on July 6 in Amsterdam, died, according to a statement from his family published this Thursday by local media RTL.
“Peter fought to the end, but he couldn’t win the battle. He died, surrounded by those who love him, “said the relatives of the communicator, who was 64 years old.
«The death of Peter R. de Vries affects me deeply. It is almost inconceivable, “tweeted the prime minister. Mark Rutte.
De Vries was between life and death in a hospital after receiving several shots, one of them in the head, in a central street in Amsterdam when after leaving a television network after participating as a guest in a program.
Witnesses heard five shots, the public television station NOS had reported.
The attack unleashed numerous reactions from fellow professionals and political figures, inside and outside the country.
“His murder is a new episode of a black series in Europe,” where “organized crime represents a great danger to journalism,” the secretary general of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in a tweet this Thursday, Christophe Deloire, who recalled recent murders in Malta, Slovakia and Greece.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyenshe said on Twitter she was “deeply saddened.”
Investigative journalists are essential to our democracies. We must do everything possible to protect them, “he added.
Two suspects appeared before the Dutch court on Friday and the judge extended their detention. These were identified by local media as Kamil E., a 35-year-old Polish citizen residing in Maurik, in the center of the country, and Delano G., 21, residing in Rotterdam.
The deceased was well known in the Netherlands for his journalistic investigations. He also appeared as a spokesperson for victims or in the closest circle of key witnesses. During his career he had received several death threats.
“Peter lived consistently with his convictions: ‘You cannot be free on your knees,'” his family and current partner said in a joint statement.
“We are immensely proud of him and at the same time inconsolable,” they added.
Hailed as a national hero
After the attack, De Vries was hailed as a “national hero”, a fervent defender of justice, who made himself known in his country and across borders for his reports on the kidnapping of the “beer baron”. Freddy Heineken, in the 1980s.
It is an indescribable loss. Our feelings go first and foremost to Peter’s family, his partner and all those close to him, “RTL Netherlands, the producer Fremantle Nederland and collaborators of RTL Boulevard, a program in which De Vries appeared frequently as a guest, as happened in a joint statement the day of the attack.
“Peter’s influence will always be stronger than any act of hatred,” he added.