ADF International


Annen v. Germany

Date of most recent action: 26 Nov 2015

Pro-life advocate wins free speech case at European Court of Human Rights

What’s at Stake:

The right to freedom of expression


Klaus Annen is a pro-life advocate and has been for many years. He campaigns peacefully outside facilities where abortions take place, distributing leaflets and displaying signs. He also creates online content that draws attention to the facts about abortion. When Klaus mentioned two abortion providers by name in his materials, they accused him of violating their right to a reputation.

The German courts never found Klaus guilty of making a false statement. But they did decide that the so-called “personality rights” of the abortion providers were more important than Klaus’ freedom of speech. As a result, he was restricted from freely continuing his campaign.

When Klaus’ case reached the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2013, ADF International presented legal arguments to the court on behalf of Germany’s largest pro-life organization, Aktion Lebensrecht für Alle.

The legal arguments pointed out the right to freedom of expression under the European Convention on Human Rights, and that a decision against Annen would have consequences for freedom of speech across Germany, and possibly all of Europe.

In an important victory for free speech, the ECHR ruled in Annen’s favour on 26 November 2015. The Court’s landmark decision upheld Klaus’ right to freedom of expression under the Convention and ordered Germany to pay damages for violating Annen‘s right to freedom of speech.

Our Role in the Case

ADF International was given permission to present legal arguments to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of the largest pro-life organization in Germany, Aktion Lebensrecht für Alle.

Legal Documents

Brief – 18 June 2013

You Can Make an Impact

Visit our campaign page to find out what you can do.

arrow-circle-up Top

Faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people.