Situation of Jehovah's Witnesses in Smolensk in 2003; whether any person was arrested, brought to a psychiatric hospital, or killed because of their affiliation with the Jehovah's Witnesses and, if so, their names (2003 - November 2004) [RUS43183.E]

Information on the situation of Jehovah's Witnesses in Smolensk, Russia, could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. The only information found that may be useful indicated that a law was passed in Smolensk in 2003 imposing restrictions on missionary activity, "including the use of venues in which religious meetings may be held" (International Religious Freedom Report 2004 15 Sept. 2004, sec. 2). The law also stipulated that unless their visas specified otherwise, foreigners were forbidden from proselytising or preaching (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

Reference


International Religious Freedom Report 2004. 15 September 2004. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2004/35480.htm [Accessed: 22 Nov. 2004]

Additional Sources Consulted


Several unsuccesful attempts to contact the offices of Jehovah's Witness in Smolensk, Moscow, and Ottawa.

Internet Sites, including: Amnesty International (AI), European Country of Origin Information Network (ECOI), Freedom House, Human Rights Watch (HRW), The Moscow News, Pravda, Watchtower.org, World News Connection.