Sybrand van Haersma Buma
(Workum, 1965) studied law at the Rijksuniversiteit in Groningen. Since May 2002 he is a CDA member of the Lower House faction . He was policy staff member for the justice department and substitute civil secretary for the CDA Lower House faction. In the Lower House he is concerned mainly with judicial matters and internal affairs. It is his ambition in the Lower House to contribute to a safe and committed society, in which people have respect for one another and take responsibility.
Archive available for: Sybrand van Haersma Buma
Freedom of speech is under pressure in the Netherlands. Almost every artist or journalist who has appeared in the news as a result of receiving threats, has capitulated. From theatre director Johan Doesburg (Fassbinder's The dirt, the city and death) to Hasna el Maroudi (columnist for the newspaper NRC Handelsblad, 2005).
Each time two aspects came under threat: the person in question, who as a result sought shelter, and the freedom of speech, which after a wave of public indignation is abandoned until the next incident. Afshin Ellian, lawyer, poet and columnist of NRC Handelsblad, opens the program with an introductory essay. Followed by a debate with Sybrand van Haersma Buma (spokesman for the ministry of justice of the Christian democratic party, lower chamber), Bas Heijne (writer) and Marjolijn Februari (philosopher, lawyer and writer). The situation in the Netherlands is given an international perspective by the presence of South African poet and former anti-apartheid activist Breyten Breytenbach. Joesoef Isak, publisher, journalist and champion of the free word in Indonesia, was announced to take part in this discussion, but he had to cancel. Because of ill health he cannot make the trip to the Netherlands. Michaël Zeeman chairs the debate.