Current treatment of Jehovah's Witnesses [ERT30247.E]

A representative of the Watch Tower and Bible Tract Society in Brooklyn, New York, stated in a telephone interview with the Research Directorate that the measures restricting Jehovah's Witnesses introduced by the Eritrean government in 1995 remain in force. However, the representative was unaware of any specific acts of persecution (13 October 1998).

A July 1997 United States Department of State report entitled United States Policies in Support of Religious Freedom: Focus on Christians noted, with respect to Eritrea, that:

Government action against Jehovah's Witnesses occurs, as the Government considers their refusal to participate in national service or vote in national referenda a collective shirking of civic duty. The sanctions consist of revocation of business licenses, and dismissal of civil servants who are Jehovah's Witnesses, and also denial of identification cards, passports, and government housing.

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 to refugee status or asylum.


United States Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Labour and Human Rights. 22 July 1997. United States Policies in Support of Religious Freedom: Focus on Christians. Via Internet. (

Watch Tower and Bible Tract Society, Brooklyn, NY. 13 October 1998. Telephone interview with a representative.