Police arrested two men who are suspected of arson and the attempted murder of a Groningen journalist last Thursday night. The suspects are two men, aged 32 and 31, from Groningen.
The men are accused of throwing molotov cocktails into and against the home of Sikkom–blog journalist, Willem Groeneveld, Wednesday night. Groeneveld and his partner managed to extinguish the fire themselves and were miraculously unharmed, GIC.nl reports.
The police and the Public Prosecution Service (OM) launched an extensive investigation. A neighborhood investigation was immediately carried out. Further, Thursday afternoon, the police and the Public Prosecution Service published a search message with images of the suspects.
Investigation and Tips
The suspects are a 32-year-old man and a 31-year-old man, both from Groningen. The police traced the suspects through criminal investigations and the tips that came in after sharing the images.
“Not only did the police take this case seriously, we see that other people have contributed a lot,” said district chief Frank Smilda. “The images have been shared en masse and the tips helped ensure that the suspects could be arrested so quickly.”
The images of the suspects have been removed from www.politie.nl. Police are asking everyone to delete the shared images. This is done to ensure the follow-up investigation is carried out as carefully as possible. The investigation continues and the suspects will be questioned. It is not yet known what their cause was; it should emerge during the follow-up investigation.
Safety of the Press
The police and the Public Prosecution Service take strong action when journalists are mistreated or assaulted.
“The Netherlands is a free constitutional state in which journalists should simply be able to do their job and not be limited by people who threaten them or, even worse, use violence against them,” said Chief Public Prosecutor Diederik Greive.
In the event of such incidents, action is taken in accordance with the agreements laid down in the PersSafe protocol. The investigation and prosecution of suspects in criminal offenses against journalists are given high priority. Suspects are convicted with urgency. The sentence for aggression and violence against journalists is doubled by the Public Prosecution Service.