Van crashes into leading Dutch newspaper’s office

Reporters Without Borders condemn attack, call for thorough investigation

(Source: Reuters)
(Source: Reuters)

A delivery van was deliberately crashed into the Amsterdam head office of De Telegraaf, the biggest newspaper in the Netherlands, early on Tuesday.

Nobody was injured in the attack, the police said, which happened at a time when the building was almost empty.

Paul Jansen, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief said that the motive for the attack was unclear, but that it was a “cause of great concerns”, adding that the newspaper “will not be intimidated”.

Reporters Without Borders condemned the attack on the Dutch daily and called on authorities to conduct a thorough investigations with the aim of identifying and punishing those behind it.

Todays’ attack happened five days after an anti-tank missile was on 21 June fired at the building housing the Panorama and Nieuwe Revu magazine in Amsterdam.

A suspect has been arrested in connection with last week’s attack, but the police have not yet established any connection between that case and today’s incident.

De Telegraaf and Panorama cover organised crime extensively, with one of the former’s journalists, John Van de Heuvel, being one of two crime reporters who were given round-the-clock police protection last year.

“We condemn all violence designed to intimidate journalists and media outlets whose reporting annoys people,” RSF’s EU-Balkans desk head Pauline Adès-Mével, said, “We call on the Dutch authorities to investigate these attacks thoroughly with the aim of bringing those responsible to justice, and to provide appropriate protection to journalists who put themselves in danger by doing investigative reporting.”

While the Netherlands is ranked 3rd out of 180 countries in the RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index, the attacks show that the Dutch media is also at risk of threats to press freedom.

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