Sixty percent of Dutch journalists threatened at work: report
Three out of five journalists in the Netherlands were threatened or intimidated at least once during the course of his or her work, according to a study by the Dutch association of journalists NVJ. A fifth of Dutch journalists say they are threatened on a monthly basis, NOS and NRC reports.
The study report, written by former Ombudsman Alex Brenninkmeijer, will be officially presented on Wednesday, according to the two news agencies.
Dutch journalists face threats made in person and on social media. Some noteworthy threats Brenninkmeijer mentions in his report include "the baseball bat is already ready" and "you will be found in a suitcase". He also mentions some striking incidents over the past years - such as NOS news being taken hostage by Tarik Z. in 2014 and columnist Ebru Umar being held in Turkey last year for her statements about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The researchers are worried that these threats are pressuring press freedom in the Netherlands. Already journalists sometimes decide against publishing certain articles because of threats or fear of reprisals, according to the report.
Last week international organizations Reporters Without Borders and Freedom House already stated that the freedom of the press has never been under as much pressure as it was last year, NU.nl reports. A worrying number of countries dropped in the rankings of the index that measures press freedom in 180 countries - including the United States and United Kingdom, both of whom were considered prime examples of free press in the past. This has to do with the campaigns for now president Donald Trump in the U.S and the Brexit in the U.K. According to the organizations, both campaigns were accompanied by "a toxic form of blackmailing the media and spreading fake information and fake news."