The Netherlands in shock after attack on reporter

In Amsterdam, the award-winning investigative journalist Peter R. de Vries was shot and critically injured on Tuesday. De Vries has uncovered numerous crimes and police corruption and had a popular TV show covering high-profile criminal cases. Most recently, he acted as an adviser to the chief witness in a major trial against members of a criminal gang. For commentators, the attempted assassination was not only directed against de Vries personally.

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De Telegraaf (NL) /

Radical action needed to combat criminality

Organised crime has lashed out ruthlessly again, De Telegraaf concludes:

“This cowardly deed is a renewed attack on the rule of law. Previously it was the lawyer of the same key witness who was murdered. ... And there were attacks on the media. ... Judges, state prosecutors, defence lawyers and journalists only have provisional protection. Police and politicians have been aware for a long time that (drug) crime in a city like Amsterdam has grown to such a degree that it is now destroying society. ... The evil is deeply entrenched in certain quarters and sections of society. Unorthodox solutions are called for. This criminal energy must be destroyed at the root.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

Rule of law needs more robust protection

The police and the justice system are not being tough enough on organised crime, De Volkskrant complains:

“They should look to a country like Italy, which has made huge progress in the fight against the organised crime that has an iron grip on society. The Netherlands is no mafia state, but it is a narco state, in which drug criminals have amassed too much power. ... [With his work] Peter R. de Vries has given many Dutch citizens confidence that there is justice in the end. This confidence is essential for a functioning constitutional state. We can only hope that this assassination attempt will motivate everybody to do their utmost to protect it.”

Večernji list (HR) /

Europe no longer safe for journalists

Večernji list sees the shooting of de Vries as the latest in a series of murders that includes Daphne Caruana Galizia and Ján Kuciak:

“This case shows again that the EU, even the liberal Netherlands, is no longer a safe place for journalists. Although respect for human rights and freedom of expression and thus journalistic freedom is cemented into the very foundations of the EU, the fact that within just a few years several journalists have been shot or killed in EU member states shows that journalism and journalistic freedoms are at risk in Europe. ”