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General Rapporteur on media freedom appalled by attack on Dutch investigative journalist

Stefan Schennach (Austria, SOC), General Rapporteur on media freedom and the safety of journalists for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has today expressed his shock at the armed attack perpetrated on Tuesday 6 July against Peter R. de Vries, a well-known Dutch crime reporter.

“According to police, the reporter was shot in the head after leaving a TV studio in the centre of Amsterdam. Peter R. de Vries has long been working as an investigative journalist on crime cases and hosting his own televised crime show for nearly two decades. More recently, the journalist had been an adviser to a key witness in a trial over multiple killings allegedly ordered by a crime organisation. The journalist regularly received death threats,” specified Mr Schennach.

“I welcome the quick reaction by the Dutch authorities, notably Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the Minister of Justice Ferdinand Grapperhaus, who held an emergency meeting with security authorities. I fully agree with Mr Rutte that this was an attack on a brave journalist and an attack on the freedom of the press,” the General Rapporteur said.

“I very much hope Peter R. de Vries, who is currently fighting for his life, will survive this cowardly assassination attempt,” he added.