Dutch crime reporter dies after shooting

THE HAGUE (AFP): Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries, who was critically wounded after being shot in broad daylight in Amsterdam last week, has died in hospital, his family announced Thursday.

A prominent investigative journalist who had been involved in a court case against one of the country’s most wanted drug barons, De Vries, 64, was shot at least five times as he exited a television studio nine days ago.

He was rushed to hospital where he had been fighting for his life since.

“Peter fought until the end, but he has lost the battle,” his family said in a statement to the RTL commercial broadcaster.

“He was surrounded by the people who loved him when he died,” they added, saying funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

The attack on De Vries, who first won fame for his inside reporting on the 1983 kidnapping of Heineken millionaire Freddy Heineken, sparked wide-spread condemnation and concern for the safety of journalists in Europe.

“Deeply saddened by the news of Peter R. de Vries’ passing,” EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said.

“Investigative journalists are vital to our democracies. We must do everything we can to protect them,” she tweeted.

“Peter R. de Vries’ death has touched me deeply,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte added. “It’s almost impossible to comprehend,” Rutte said. De Vries’ family praised him as a courageous father and husband. “Peter lived by the courage of his convictions: ‘On bended knee is no way to be free.”

“We are incredibly proud of him, but at the same time inconsolable.”

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