“Peter had a great deal of compassion for refugees; he tried to make sure that the unseen people received justice,” said Fr. Sjaak, when interviewed on Thursday, 22 July, by Omroep West, the regional broadcasting network in South Holland.

Peter R. de Vries was a premier Dutch investigative journalist and crime reporter in The Netherlands who covered high profile cases and was known for his no-nonsense reporting. The whole of The Netherlands mourned him when he passed away last week on 15 July from wounds sustained after being gunned down after appearing as a guest on a tv show in Amsterdam.

Fr. Sjaak is proud that the flowers from the funeral have been placed around the monument.  “It was the express wish of the family.” Anyone is welcome to come themselves and place flowers next to them.  “As a tribute to Peter, but also against all the senseless violence in the world.”  Laying flowers can be done at any time, not just now. “We are always happy for people to show their solidarity.”

The monument was unveiled in April of this year and is called “The Hollow Men”.  More information about the monument by artist Linette Dijk can be found here.

“We have refugees in our midst, but we don’t want to see them,” Fr. Sjaak explains. “Many refugees who wanted to be part of the rule of law were not given the right to defend themselves.  For Peter, it was important to give them that chance”.

Fr. Sjaak has been interviewed by both local and national news media. His interview by Omroep West (in Dutch), along with a photo and lovely video can be found here (courtesy of Omroep West). Other photos and videos will be published as they become available.