List of people who took refuge in a diplomatic mission

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Because diplomatic missions, such as embassies and consulates, may not be entered by the host country without permission (even though they do not enjoy extraterritorial status), persons have from time to time taken refuge from a host-country's national authorities inside the embassy of another country.

Name Notability Reason for Seeking Refuge Country City Mission's Country Start Date End Date Resolution
John William, Baron Ripperda Dismissed Prime Minister of Spain Sought for fraud, embezzlement Spain Spain Madrid Kingdom of Great Britain Kingdom of Great Britain April 13, 1726 (1726-04-13) 1726 (1726) Arrested by the Spanish from inside of Ambassador's official residence (in breach of international law)[1]
José Manuel Balmaceda President of Chile Defeated in the Chilean Civil War Chile Chile Santiago Argentina Argentina August 29, 1891 September 18, 1891 (1891-09-18) Committed suicide
Augusto Roa Bastos Paraguayan novelist, story-writer and journalist Political persecution after criticising the military regime Paraguay Paraguay Asunción Brazil Brazil 1947 (1947) 1947 (1947)

(total time: 40 days [2])

Negotiated exile in Argentina[3]
Leonardo Argüello Barreto President of Nicaragua Ousted by Anastasio Somoza García Nicaragua Nicaragua Managua Mexico Mexico May 26, 1947 (1947-05-26) December 1947 (1947-12) Negotiated exile in Mexico
Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre Peruvian political theorist and politician; founder of APRA APRA was outlawed by the Peruvian military-led dictatorship Peru Peru Lima Colombia Colombia January 3, 1949 (1949-01-03) April 6, 1954 (1954-04-06)

(total 5 years, 3 months, 3 days)

After heavy international pressure, was finally allowed to leave the country[4]
Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán President of Guatemala Ousted by Carlos Castillo Armas Guatemala Guatemala Guatemala City Mexico Mexico June 27, 1954 (1954-06-27) June 28, 1954 (1954-06-28) Negotiated exile in Mexico
Imre Nagy deposed Prime Minister of Hungary Soviet Intervention Hungary Hungary Budapest Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia November 4, 1956 (1956-11-04) November 22, 1956 (1956-11-22) Received a written guarantee of safe passage, but was nonetheless arrested upon leaving by the new, pro-Soviet government; later executed.
József Mindszenty Hungarian Roman Catholic Church cardinal Soviet Intervention Hungary Hungary Budapest United States United States November 4, 1956 (1956-11-04) September 28, 1971 (1971-09-28)

(total 15 years)

Negotiated exile in Austria
Reino Häyhänen Soviet Lieutenant Colonel defection France France Paris United States United States November 4, 1956 (1956-11-04) May 1957 Moved to the United States
Sharif Ali bin al-Hussein Iraqi prince coup led by Abd al-Karim Qasim Iraq Iraq Baghdad Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia July 15, 1958 (1958-07-15) September 1958 (1958-09) Left to exile in Egypt, later to Lebanon and Britain
Narciso Campos Pontigo A member of the Cuban military Jailed after the Cuban revolution Cuba Cuba Havana Brazil Brazil 1959 (1959) 1959 (1959) Set free by personal order of Raúl Castro; got asylum in the Brazilian embassy, then fled to the USA [5][6][7] [8][9] [10]
Humberto Delgado A General of the Portuguese Air Force and opponent of the Salazar regime Ran for President; lost to the official candidate in disputed results and was expelled from the military Portugal Portugal Lisbon Brazil Brazil January 12, 1959 (1959-01-12) April 20, 1959 (1959-04-20) Went into exile in Brazil
Olga María Rodríguez Farinas (later Olga Goodwin) and her (and William Alexander Morgan') two daughters Cuban revolutionary, who along with her U.S.-born William Alexander Morgan, fought in the Cuban Revolution that deposed Fulgencio Batista and led to Fidel Castro's rise to power escaping persecution from Fidel Castro, who Olga's husband was accused of conspiring against [11] Cuba Cuba Havana Brazil Brazil December 31, 1960 (1960-12-31) March 1961 (1961-03) Left the Embassy in order to try to set her husband free; her husband was executed, and she was arrested for 12 years.
Leon Veillard Captain in the Haitian Army and one of the leaders of the Tonton Macoute militia Labeled as a traitor by dictator Papa Doc, who feared he was plotting to overthrow his government and sentenced him and others to die.[12] Haiti Haiti Port-au-Prince Brazil Brazil 1967 (1967) 1967 (1967)[13] 18 colleagues of Veillard were executed, but he received asylum in the Brazilian Embassy and fled to Florida[14]
The Siberian Seven Siberian Pentecostals prevented from emigrating[15] Soviet Union Soviet Union Moscow United States United States June 27, 1978 (1978-06-27) June 27, 1983 (1983-06-27)

(total: 5 years (last of them))

Allowed to emigrate to Israel and later the U.S.
Ange Patasse Central African opposition leader opposing Andre Kolingba government Central African Republic Central African Republic Bangui France France February 27, 1982 (1982-02-27) March 3, 1982 (1982-03-03) Negotiated exile to Togo
Francisco René Bobadilla Palomo Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food under President Fernando Romeo Lucas García deposed by a military junta headed by Efraín Ríos Montt Guatemala Guatemala Guatemala City Brazil Brazil 1982 (1982) 1982 (1982) Governing junta granted all asylum-seekers safe passage to leave the country
Fang Lizhi and his wife dissident in Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 forced end of Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 China China PRC Beijing United States United States June 5, 1989 (1989-06-05) June 25, 1990 (1990-06-25) Negotiated flight to the United States
Hou Dejian dissident in Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 forced end of Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 China China PRC Beijing Australia Australia June 1989 (1989-06) August 16, 1989 (1989-08-16) Negotiated exit and deported back to native Taiwan
Manuel Noriega President of Panama United States invasion of Panama Panama Panama Ciudad de Panama Holy See Holy See December 24, 1989 (1989-12-24) January 3, 1990 (1990-01-03) Negotiated arrest by United States forces
Michel Aoun Lebanese Army commander defeated in Lebanese Civil War Lebanon Lebanon Beirut France France October 1990 (1990-10) August 27, 1991 (1991-08-27) Left to exile in France
Erich Honecker General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany Indicted in Germany for the deaths of 192 East Germans who tried to leave the GDR in violation of anti-Republikflucht laws. Russia Russia Moscow Chile Chile December 24, 1991 (1991-12-24) March 1, 1992 (1992-03-01) Extradited by the Yeltsin administration back to Germany
Mohammad Najibullah President of Afghanistan Afghan Civil War Afghanistan Afghanistan Kabul United Nations United Nations April 16, 1992 (1992) September 27, 1996 (1996-09-27)

(total 4 years, 5 months, 11 days)

Tortured and killed by the Taliban
Sylvestre Ntibantunganya President of Burundi military coup d'état Burundi Burundi Bujumbura United States United States July 23, 1996 (1996-07-23) June 1997 (1997-06) Negotiated exit
Abdullah Öcalan founding member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party Turkish manhunt Kenya Kenya Nairobi Greece Greece January 1999 (1999-01) February 15, 1999 (1999-02-15) Arrested on the way to the airport and tried and imprisoned in Turkey.
João Bernardo Vieira President of Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau Civil War Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau Bissau Portugal Portugal May 1999 (1999-05) June 1999 (1999-06) Negotiated exile in Portugal
Alassane Ouattara Presidential candidate in Côte d'Ivoire First Ivorian Civil War Ivory Coast Côte d'Ivoire Abidjan France France September 19, 2002 (2002-09-19) November 2002 (2002-11) Negotiated exile in Gabon and France
Lucio Gutiérrez Deposed President of Ecuador Tried to interfere in the country's Supreme Court amid a growing political crisis and protests; was declared impeached by Congress and replaced by the Vice-President Ecuador Ecuador Quito Brazil Brazil April 15, 2005 (2005-04-15) April 24, 2005 (2005-04-24) Negotiated exile in Brazil, then went to Peru, then to the USA; returned to Ecuador and disputed the Ecuadorian general election, 2009
Morgan Tsvangirai Candidate for President of Zimbabwe violence during Zimbabwean presidential election, 2008 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Harare Netherlands The Netherlands June 22, 2008 (2008-06-22) June 25, 2008 (2008-06-25)[16] After negotiations with opponent Robert Mugabe, accepted joining a coalition government and was sworn-in as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe
Anwar Ibrahim De facto Leader of the Opposition Malaysia Death threats and alleged sodomy charge Malaysia Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Turkey Turkey June 29, 2008 (2008-06-29) June 30, 2008 (2008-06-30) Left after assurance of his safety by Malaysian police. Was arrested on 16 July, and released without charges on 17 July. Won the August elections and returned to Parliament as formal leader of the Malaysian opposition
Andry Rajoelina Deposed mayor of Antananarivo, unilaterally self-proclaimed as president of the Republic of Madagascar on January 31, 2009. Arrest warrant  Madagascar Antananarivo  France March 6, 2009 March 16, 2009 Andry Rajoelina appointed as president of the caretaker government by Hippolyte Rarison Ramaroson as Marc Ravalomanana resigns and flees the country
Manuel Zelaya[17] Ousted President of Honduras wanted by authorities for putative crimes against the National Constitution Honduras Honduras Tegucigalpa Brazil Brazil September 21, 2009 (2009-09-21) January 28, 2010 (2010-01-28) Negotiated exile in Dominican Republic
Shahram Amiri Iranian nuclear scientist disappeared from Iran United States United States Washington D.C. Pakistan Pakistan July 13, 2010 (2010-07-13) July 14, 2010 (2010-07-14) returned to Iran
Wang Lijun Former police chief of Chongqing Conflict with Bo Xilai; see Wang Lijun incident China China PRC Chengdu United States United States February 6, 2012 (2012-02-06) February 7, 2012 (2012-02-07) "Left of his own volition" and taken by central government authorities
Amadou Toumani Touré Malian deposed president military coup d'état Mali Mali Bamako Senegal Senegal April 18, 2012 (2012-04-18) August 2012 (2012-08) fled to Senegal
Chen Guangcheng blind civil rights activist escape from house arrest China China PRC Beijing United States United States April 26, 2012 (2012-04-26)? May 2, 2012 (2012-05-02) Left to go to hospital under unclear circumstances. Was later able to go to the U.S with his family.
Roger Pinto Bolivian Senator; leader of the opposition Alleged political persecution by Government of President Evo Morales Bolivia Bolivia La Paz Brazil Brazil May 28, 2012 (2012-05-28)

August 23, 2013

(total: 455 days)

Left the Embassy in a diplomatic car accompanied by the Brazilian Chargé d'affaires; they drove for 22 hours until arriving in Brazil [18]
Julian Assange Australian political activist, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks Avoid extradition to Sweden United Kingdom United Kingdom London Ecuador Ecuador June 19, 2012 (2012-06-19)


Mohamed Nasheed Former President of the Maldives, who resigned in 2012 claiming to have suffered a coup d'etat Fearing for his life at the hands of the police after ex-Human Rights Minister and a Brigadier General revealed information about assassination plot after Court order issued for police to arrest him[19][20][21][22] Maldives Republic of Maldives Malé India India February 13, 2013 (2013-02-13) February 23, 2013 Left the Embassy after deal brokered by India[23]
Bosco Ntaganda Former commander in the March 23 Movement Infighting within the March 23 Movement and possibly vulnerable to Rwandan government[24]  Rwanda Kigali  United States March 18, 2013 (2013-03-18) March 22, 2013 Turned over to the International Criminal Court.


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  15. ^ Time. January 25, 1982,9171,925232,00.html |url= missing title (help). 
  16. ^ "Thabo Mbeki fails to show up to African leaders' summit to solve Zimbabwe crisis". Daily Mail (London). 
  17. ^ Honduras ex-leader Manuel Zelaya begins exile BBC NEWS AMERICAS
  18. ^ "Brazil foreign minister quits over Bolivia senator row". BBC News. August 27, 2013. 
  19. ^“assassination”-plot-against-former-president-nasheed-49444
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  23. ^ Radhakrishnan, R.K. "Nasheed leaves Indian embassy after ‘deal'". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  24. ^ "Bosco Ntaganda: Wanted Congolese in US mission in Rwanda". BBC News. 2013-03-18. Retrieved 2013-03-19.