Injunction against "die tierbefreier" (the animal liberators) repealed. Escada loses at the Hamm Highe regional Court.
14.05.2009In October 2007 persons unknown carried out an attack upon the ESCADA headquarters in Aschheim, near Munich, with butric acid. Several days later the group die tierbefreier e.V. received an anonymous communique claiming responsibility for the attack. It stated, "the attack is in protest at the company´s fur trade". The communique was posted on the group´s website and the attack was also mentioned in a press release, which was sent to the media at the end of the year, in which the so-called direct actions by anonymous groups against the fur trade were listed. The group die tierbefreier e.V. does not have any connections to groups which carry out direct actions, but has acted as spokesperson to the media for actions which are aimed against violence against animals for the past 20 years. The group therefore reports on autonomous actions such as animal liberations and sabotage when it receives communiques about them. Press releases are sent to the media to provide information about such actions on the one hand, and on the other, to ensure that the background to and ethical motivation behind such actions become known and discussed. At the end of 2007 ESCADA filed for an injunction, which banned the group from reporting about illegal anti-fur actions against thier company. The reason given for the injunction by the court was that the group did not distance itself from such actions and reporting the actions must therefore be seen as inciting further similar actions. As the injunctions was already filed shortly before the end of the year, the inclusion of an action in the group´s press release issued on 31.1.07 was sanctioned with €5000. This injunction was a massive incursion into the freedom of the press, the public´s right to information and freedom of oppinion. The group appealed against the injunction and main proceedings took place at Münster district court. This court changed the injunction slightly but in the main the result was the same. The group was still not allowed to inform the public about direct actions that had taken place against ESCADA. So die tierbefreier e.V. appealed once more. Since autumn 2007 ESCADA has faced harsh criticism due to its sale of fur. Millions of animals like foxes, mink, raccoons and polecats are imprisoned in the smallest of spaces only to be killed for their fur by gassing, electrocution or having their necks broken. From the beginning ESCADA and their lawyers Avocado Law have attempted to silence activists and ban unwanted protests and reporting about them through the civil courts. This time they failed completely.