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Two men jailed for Molotov cocktail attack on Dutch journalist's home

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By AP  with Euronews
No one was injured in the late-night attack in August 2021.
No one was injured in the late-night attack in August 2021.   -   Copyright  Politie Noord Nederland, File

Two men have been sentenced to five years in prison for trying to kill a Dutch journalist in a Molotov cocktail attack.

The court in Groningen convicted the suspects -- identified as Tjeerd P. and Jaimy W. -- of attempted murder and arson on Monday.

They were accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail into the home of journalist Willem Groeneveld in August 2021.

According to prosecutors, the men carried out the late-night attack because they opposed Groeneveld's "negative" coverage of demonstrations against COVID-19 lockdowns.

The court in Groningen said the attackers threw a beer bottle filled with kerosine through the journalist's front door, causing a small fire.

Nobody was injured in the attack, but Groeneveld said that since the attack “he has always been on his guard and feels partly deprived of his journalistic freedom.”

“Journalistic freedom is an important pillar of the democratic constitutional state," the court added in a statement.

"Journalists have an important role in shaping social discussions and must be able to express themselves freely, without having to fear for their safety."

The Molotov cocktail attack occurred just one month after Dutch investigative reporter Peter R De Vries was fatally injured in a shooting in Amsterdam.