Pastor Jailed for Expression of Pro-Life Opinion

Country: Germany

Date of incident: March 11, 1998

Pastor jailed for calling an abortion specialist “professional killer” and “torturer” in Erlangen.

The Protestant theologian Johannes Lerle was jailed for seven and a half months, because he called Dr. Freudemann, an abortion specialist, a "professional killer" and "KZ - torturer". On flyers distributed in front of an abortion clinic in Nuremberg, Lerle claimed that the doctor applied worse methods than those practiced in a concentration camp. Because Lerle would not retract these remarks, a court in Nuremberg sentenced him to a fine of 60 daily rations for each 20 DM (10 euro). When he refused to pay, he had to do time. Johannes Lerle said in front of the court that abortion in numbers was surpassing the crimes of Hitler. He admitted having distributed flyers. He didn’t mean "professional killer“ in the legal sense. "As you would call a professional musician one who plays as a professional, so should one be allowed to call a man who kills for his profession a professional killer."