List of people declared persona non grata

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This is a list of people declared persona non grata. Persona non grata (Latin, plural: personae non gratae), literally meaning "an unwelcome person", is a legal term used in diplomacy that indicates a proscription against a foreign person entering or remaining in the country. It is the most serious form of censure that one country can apply to foreign diplomats, who are otherwise protected by diplomatic immunity from arrest and other normal kinds of prosecution.

  • The Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 included the list of 150 personae non gratae of Turkey, which forbade the entry of mainly a group of former Ottoman Empire officials and about 100 other persons to Turkey, until the lifting of this status in 1938.[citation needed]
  • Chiune Sugihara, who helped several thousand Jews in Lithuania in the 1940s, was declared persona non grata by the Soviet Union in 1947.[citation needed]
  • Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain was obliged to leave Italy in 1942 having become persona non grata to the Italian government. According to Harold Tittmann, a United States representative at the Vatican at the time, this was due to her "ill-disguised leanings to the Allied cause."[1]
  • Harald Edelstam, Swedish ambassador to Chile, was declared persona non grata for his efforts to hide and assist members of the opposition facing persecution by the Chilean junta of 1973–1990, including occupying the Embassy of Cuba in Santiago, containing hundreds of refugees, and declaring it Swedish soil.
  • Kurt Waldheim, former Secretary-General of the United Nations and President of Austria, and his wife were given persona non grata status in the United States and other countries when he was accused of having known about Nazi war crimes and not having done anything about them.[2]
  • In September 1952, the American Ambassador to the Soviet Union, George F. Kennan, was declared persona non grata after making a statement which the Soviets believed linked them to Nazi Germany. The Soviets refused to allow Kennan to reenter the Soviet Union.[3]
  • In November 1962, the Mexican authorities, as per a directive from Mexico City Regent Ernesto Peralta Uruchurtu, refused to grant a work permit to US singer and actor Elvis Presley, who was scheduled to travel to Acapulco with a Paramount crew of about fifty other US and non US nationals, all of whom were given the permits except for him. Presley thus became the only US entertainer to have been officially declared persona non grata by the Mexican authorities, the result as noted by the latter, of a series of incidents starting in February 1957, when he was banned from radio after a newspaper quoted him speaking badly of Mexican women, then into 1959, when he was banned from record stores, and continuing into 1961, when he was banned from theatres. Mention was made of two violent riots between pro Presley fans, those who did not believe the 1957 allegations were true, and those who did, and were thus against him, at the trendy 'Las Americas' cinema in Mexico City, during the openings of two of his previous films "King Creole" (El barrio contra mi) in 1959, and "G.I. Blues" (Cafe Europa) in 1961. As a result, and given that they had already invested some US$250,000 in new camera equipment, purchased precisely for this movie, Paramount decided to go ahead with the filming in early January 1963, and hired a double to do Presley's long shot scenes, the entire crew then returning to Los Angeles in early March 1963 to shoot the close ups between Presley and his co-stars. The film, entitled Fun in Acapulco opened in US theatres in November 1963. The ban was lifted in 1971.
  • In March 1976, Herbert Spiro, the United States Ambassador to Cameroon, also accredited to Equatorial Guinea, was declared persona non grata by Equatorial Guinea. At the end of a visit to the country which he described as pleasant and uneventful up to that point, Equatoguinean Deputy Protocol Director Santiago Nchama handed him a letter accusing the United States government of engaging in subversive activities there, and days later, Equatorial Guinea's foreign ministry sent a telegram to the State Department announcing that Spiro and Consul William C. Mithoefer Jr, who had accompanied him on his visit, were both barred from the country.[4]
  • In April 1979, the Central Intelligence Agency's expert on Iran, George W. Cave, was declared persona non grata by the Iranian government.[5]
  • In the 1990s, Mario Vargas Llosa, who would later receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, was "persona non grata in Peru, discredited and insulted in the official press" of Alberto Fujimori's regime. According to Ilan Stavans, "Peruvians have made it a sport to hate Vargas Llosa."[6]
  • In 1995, Croatia declared Carl Bildt persona non grata announcing that he had "lost the credibility necessary for the role of a peace mediator". Bildt had suggested that the President of Croatia, Franjo Tuđman was "as guilty of war crimes as the Krajina Serb leader", Milan Martić.[7]
  • Brad Pitt became persona non grata in the People's Republic of China after he appeared in the 1997 film Seven Years in Tibet. The ban was lifted in 2014 when he accompanied his wife Angelina Jolie on a film promotion tour.[8]
  • In 1998, actress Claire Danes, after the shooting for the film Brokedown Palace was completed, was labeled persona non grata by the Philippine government after she commented in Vogue that Manila was a "ghastly and weird city".[9][10]
  • In 2000, Israel declared Austrian politician Jörg Haider persona non grata following the Austrian legislative election of 1999, since his right-wing populist Freedom Party of Austria (German: Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, FPÖ) was a member of the Austrian coalition government.[11]
  • On February 19, 2000, the United States declared Jose Imperatori—a vice consul assigned to the Cuban interests section of the Swiss embassypersona non grata. Imperatori was accused of acting as an intermediary to assist Mariano Faget in his alleged spying activities. Imperatori refused to leave and was eventually physically expelled on February 26, 2000.[12]
  • In 2007, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) House of Representatives voted Saipan resident and United States citizen Ron Hodges persona non grata by resolution.[13] Hodges was castigated for his letter writing campaign critical of CNMI governance and abuses against alien workers, entitled Chamberonomics.[14] His letters supported a United States takeover of CNMI labor and immigration. Labor and human abuses in the CNMI garment industry had long been the subject of international criticism. The resolution's validity hinged on the question of CNMI sovereignty, but was never enforced and became moot after President Bush signed the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008[15] into law,[16] thus federalizing CNMI labor and immigration.[17]
  • In 2008, President of Bolivia Evo Morales declared United States Ambassador Philip Goldberg persona non grata, claiming that the United States government conspired against him and supported his opponents.[18]
  • Soon after Bolivia's expulsion of Goldberg, President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez declared United States Ambassador Patrick Duddy persona non grata in solidarity with Morales' action. Chavez did not cite any specific alleged infractions by Duddy.
  • In October 2008 Serbia expelled ambassadors of Montenegro and the Republic of Macedonia[19] after these countries recognized the independence of Kosovo. In November 2008 Serbia also expelled the ambassador from Malaysia[20] after Malaysia recognized Kosovo's independence.
  • In 2008 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel declared American Richard A. Falk, Princeton University professor emeritus of international law, persona non grata[21] when he was the United Nations Human Rights Council's United Nations Special Rapporteur on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967."[22] Stating this was because Falk previously had compared Israel's treatment of Palestinians to Nazi treatment of Jews,[23][24][25] Israel barred him in May 2008[26][27] and December 2008.[28][29] As of March 2011, Falk was still banned from Israel.[30]
  • On December 23, 2008, Fiji followed through on a threat to expel New Zealand's high commissioner to the island nation. The expulsion came a day after the interim Prime Minister of Fiji announced he would not expel New Zealand's top diplomat because he wanted to improve his relationship with New Zealand. In retaliation to the expulsion, New Zealand declared Fiji's High Commissioner in Wellington persona non grata as Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key had stated the day before that there would be retaliatory action if its commissioner was expelled.[31]
  • In January 2009, following Venezuela expelling Israeli diplomats due to Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, Israel ordered Venezuelan diplomats to leave the country, declaring them personae non gratae in Israel.[32]
  • In March 2009, President Evo Morales of Bolivia declared a member of the United States embassy (political division) persona non grata.[33]
  • On April 8, 2009, President of Moldova Vladimir Voronin declared Romanian Ambassador Filip Teodorescu and Councilor-Minister Ioan Gaborean personae non gratae, claiming that "their activity was inconsistent with their diplomatic status"[34][35] after the Moldovan flag on the Parliament building was torn down and replaced with Romanian and EU flags during post-election riots in Moldova.
  • On May 20, 2009, American actor Alec Baldwin was declared persona non grata by the Philippine government after an appearance in an episode of the Late Show with David Letterman, where he joked about availing a "Filipino or Russian mail-order bride". Philippine senator and actor Ramon Revilla Jr. said his (Baldwin's) wife would be "unlucky" and that "there will be trouble" if Alec Baldwin were to travel to the country.[36]
  • On June 8, 2009, Russia declared Finnish diplomat Simo Pietiläinen persona non grata, due to a controversial action by Pietiläinen where he smuggled Anton Salonen out of Russia following a long custody dispute between his Finnish father and Russian born lover.[37]
  • On August 21, 2009, Slovakia declared Hungarian President László Sólyom persona non grata (the Latin term was not used, only "unwelcome person", and he was not allowed to cross the border), on the day when the president had been due to unveil a statue of Saint Stephen of Hungary in Komárno. The date is the next day after the Hungarian national holiday celebrating the saint king. The main reason of the ban was that this date is also the day of the anniversary of the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in which Hungary's armed forces also took part in order to crush the Prague Spring of 1968. Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has also expressed his concerns that the president "attempted to stress the Hungarian statehood on sovereign Slovak soil".[38][39]
  • On November 3, 2009, the Prime Minister of Fiji declared Australian and New Zealand diplomats to Fiji personae non gratae. In response, one day later the Australian and New Zealand Governments declared the respective Fijian Representatives personae non gratae and they were given 24 hours to depart the country. The move came as international tension between Fiji and Australia/New Zealand intensified following a decision by Fijian Prime Minister — Commodore Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama's decision to indefinitely delay elections in the country.
  • On January 8, 2010, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry declared Respect Party politician George Galloway persona non grata after he attempted to take 200 aid trucks into the Gaza Strip, along with international activists. He was subsequently deported from Egypt back to the UK.[40]
  • In October 2010, Italian singer Al Bano was included in the list of personae non gratae in Azerbaijan due to visiting Nagorno Karabakh without the permission of Azerbaijan.[41]
  • On March 30, 2011, The Kuwaiti Minister of Foreign Affairs declared three Iranian diplomats, including the Ambassador, personae non gratae for allegedly spying. Upon orders from His Highness the Emir of Kuwait, the deputy prime minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs expelled the high ranking Iranian diplomats.[42]
  • On April 5, 2011, the Ecuador Ministry declared United States Ambassador Heather Hodges persona non grata after she did not provide sufficient answers about a leaked diplomatic cable related to Ecuador. In retaliation the United States declared the Ecuadorean Ambassador Luis Gallegos persona non grata on April 7, 2011.[43]
  • On April 27, 2011, Malawi declared British High Commissioner Fergus Cochrane-Dyet persona non grata a week after a diplomatic cable had been leaked in which Cochrane-Dyet stated that Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika was "becoming ever more autocratic and intolerant of criticism".[44][45]
  • On May 1, 2011, the Libyan ambassador to the United Kingdom, Omar Jelban, was given 24 hours to leave the country after Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was persona non grata. The expulsion was in response to attacks on British embassy premises in Tripoli following the death of Colonel Gaddafi's son in a NATO air strike.[46]
  • On May 6, 2011, France declared 14 former Libyan diplomats in Paris to be personae non gratae because of "conduct and activities that are not compatible with the UN resolutions, particularly resolution 1973" and "going against the protection of Libyan civilians".[47]
  • On May 19, 2011, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Israel's military attaché to Moscow Col. Vadim Leiderman was declared persona non grata after being caught receiving secret information from a Russian citizen.[48]
  • On January 6, 2012, the United States notified the Venezuelan government of the declaration of Venezuelan diplomat Livia Acosta Noguera persona non grata and demanded that she leave the United States by January 10, 2012. The declaration was announced by the United States on January 8, and came after an FBI investigation into allegations reported in a Univision documentary. The documentary purported that several diplomats from various countries, including Venezuela, Iran and Cuba were seeking information to commit cyberattacks on United States facilities and had been in contact with a group posing as Mexican hackers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.[49][50]
  • On April 8, 2012, Israel declared German poet Günter Grass, recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature, persona non grata[51] because of his poem "What Must Be Said", which warned that Israel threatened an "already fragile world peace".[52]
  • On May 29, 2012, in response to the May 25, 2012 Houla massacre in Syria, the French government declared Syrian Ambassador Lamia Shakkour, and two other embassy officials, personae non gratae. The Syrian ambassador to the Netherlands was also declared persona non grata by Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal.[53]
  • On September 7, 2012, the Canadian government declared all Iranian diplomats in Canada personae non gratae. The Canadian embassy in Tehran also was closed.[54]

  • Marin Mema for his reports in 19 August 2012 he was banned from entering Greece and declared persona non grata.[55] Mema is mostly involved in investigative journalism; his reports range from government corruption to human rights abuses. In 2011-2012 he reported from Margariti and Filiates about the properties of the Chams (Cham Albanians who used to live in the area until World War II) that have been appropriated by the Greek state. UJA (Union of Journalists of Albania) protested in front of the Greek embassy in Tirana against the entry ban.[56]
  • On May 14, 2013, Russia's Foreign Ministry declared Ryan Fogle, third secretary of the Political Department of the United States Embassy in Moscow, persona non grata. He was caught allegedly trying to recruit a Russian special services staff member and accused of being a CIA agent.[57] On May 17, FSB revealed the identity of the CIA Station Chief as Steven Hall in further retaliation.[58][59]
  • In June 2013, Spanish opera singer Montserrat Caballé was included in a list of personae non gratae in Azerbaijan for visiting of Nagorno Karabakh without permission of Azerbaijan.[41][60]
  • On July 6, 2013, the Philippine Bureau of Immigration prevented Dutch activist Thomas van Beersum from leaving the Philippines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. Thomas van Beersum participated in a political rally against the Philippine government during President Benigno Aquino III's State of the Nation Address. Van Beersum gained the attention of the media when a photo of him berating a police officer into tears went viral on the internet which sparked the outrage of Filipino netizens. Van Beersum went to the Philippines using a tourist visa. The Dutch activist was deported on August 7 due to "overstaying" and "for engaging in partisan political activity" and was blacklisted as persona non grata.[61][62]
  • On November 23, 2013, Egypt declared the Turkish ambassador Huseyin Avni Botsali persona non grata due to criticisms made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the overthrowing of Mohamed Morsi as President of Egypt.[63]
  • On 24 December 2013, Jagmeet Singh a Canadian Ontario MPP was barred from travelling to India, as he was considered 'persona non grata' by the Indian government.[64][65] Jagmeet Singh's visa application was refused by the Indian consulate in Toronto, Canada. Jagmeet Singh had been accused of having links to Khalistan extremists based in Canada who wish to carve a separate religious Sikh state out of India through armed struggle.[66][67] On number of occasions, Jagmeet Singh has been unable to denounce the Khalistani terrorists who bombed the Air India Flight 182, which was the deadliest act of aviation terrorism prior to 9/11 attacks in 2001 - killing all aboard: 329 people, including 268 Canadian citizens, 27 British citizens and 24 Indian citizens.[68] Jagmeet Singh also received the distinction of being the first sitting member of a Western legislature to be barred from travelling to India, he was a member of the provincial parliament (MPP) in Ontario at the time of being denied a Visa to India.[69][70]
  • On July 7, 2014, the foreign ministry of the Kingdom of Bahrain demanded the immediate departure of Tom Malinowski, United States Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. The state news organization, BNA, reported that Malinowski had "held meetings with a particular party to the detriment of other interlocutors, thus discriminating between one people, contravening diplomatic norms and flouting normal interstate relations," and was thus declared persona non grata.[71]
  • In December 2014, the Government of Estonia declared Italian journalist Giulietto Chiesa persona non grata. Chiesa was a former Member of the European Parliament who had belonged to the Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee and had run as a candidate for the Latvian Russian Union. He had been due to speak at a conference on Europe and Russia relations which the Estonian security services believed to be a front for Russia's foreign intelligence services. He entered Estonia for the conference and was arrested in Tallinn and deported.[72]
  • In May 2015, American photographer and travel blogger Nathan Allen was declared persona non grata by the Philippine government in the region of Sorsogon. The declaration was made in response to a Facebook post on Allen's "I Dreamed Of This" page, said to be criticizing the effectiveness of the Philippine Department of Tourism.[73]
  • In October 2015, the government of Eritrea declared historian Michela Wrong (I Didn't Do It for You: How the World Betrayed a Small African Nation), novelist Hannah Pool (My Father's Daughter) and short story writer Jacob M. Appel (Scouting for the Reaper) personae non gratae for their criticism of the regime of Isaias Afewerki.[74]
  • In November 2015, Miss World contestant Anastasia Lin by China "apparently because of her outspoken advocacy for human rights and religious freedom in China." China, however, has given no official reason for declaring her persona non grata.[75]
  • On October 27, 2016, A Pakistani diplomat in India, Mehmood Akhtar,[76] was arrested for a short while before being declared 'persona non grata' by the Indian foreign secretary for 'espionage'. This action came from the Indian government amid increasing tensions between both the countries including cross border attacks with civilian and military casualties being report by both the sides.[77]
  • On October 27, 2016, The Pakistani foreign secretary summoned an Indian envoy, Surjeet Singh and informed him of his expulsion from the country. The Indian diplomat was declared persona non grata, shortly after the Indian government detained a Pakistani diplomat before expelling him. Surjeet Singh was also questioned about the violation of the Vienna Convention by the Indian government while it detained a foreign envoy. These actions highly stressed the diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan.[78]
  • On December 29, 2016, Thirty-five Russian diplomats were declared 'personae non gratae' by the United States in response to the alleged Kremlin-backed interference in the 2016 United States presidential election.[79]
  • On March 4, 2017, the government of Malaysia declared the North Korean Ambassador to Malaysia, Kang Chol, as persona non grata due to the murder case of Kim Jong-nam (the brother of Kim Jong-un, North Korean supreme leader) by VX nerve agent.[80] Kang Chol was summoned by the ministry in Putrajaya but failed to appear just before the declaration & an apology was demanded by the Malaysian government due to accusations made by the North Korean ambassador for Malaysia.[81]
  • In July 2017, the Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro declared five former Latin American leaders as personae non gratae as a result of their participation as international observers to the unofficial Venezuelan referendum held by the opposition. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox was banned on July 16.[82] Former President of Colombia Andrés Pastrana, former President of Bolivia Jorge Quiroga and former Presidents of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla and Miguel Ángel Rodríguez were banned on July 18.[82] Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada said the Latin American leaders invited as observers were "political sicarios", "clowns" and "mercineries" that "sell themselves to the highest bidder to go to various destinations and repeat what they are told"[83]
  • On 2 August 2017, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Rogozin was declared persona non grata by the Government of Moldova.[84]
  • On September 2017, the North Korean ambassador to Mexico Kim Hyong Gil was declared persona non grata by the Government of Mexico and was given 72 hours to leave Mexico because of North Korea's nuclear activity at the time.[85]
  • On 5 April 2018, sixty U.S. diplomats to Russia were declared persona non grata by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.[86]
  • On 25 April 2018, Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa is affirmed persona non grata by the Kuwait Foreign Ministry and mandated to vacate Kuwait within one week because of rescuing maltreated Filipino household workers from different households as part of President Rodrigo Duterte's plan of total OFW deployment ban from Kuwait.[87]
  • On 22 May 2018, the U.S. Chargé d'affaires to Venezuela, Todd D. Robinson and his deputy, Brian Naranjo were declared persona non grata by Nicolas Maduro after growing U.S. sanctions and the Chargé's statements that the recent re-election of Maduro was a "power grab" and that the elections were neither "free or fair".[88]
  • On 5 August 2018, the Canadian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Dennis Horak, was declared persona non grata after Canada called for the release of civil activists in detention.
  • On 1 January 2019, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Somalia declared persona non grata on the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations Nicholas Haysom after being accused of deliberately interfering domestic affairs of the country and undermining the independence of the Government of Somalia
  • On 11 March 2019, the Ukrainian Culture Ministry declared persona non grata on the Italian recording artist, actor, and winemaker Albano Carrisi, known as Al Bano, as a national security threat. The singer openly announced he thinks Crimea is Russian territory and is said to be a fan of the President Vladimir Putin. A ban on the same grounds has been announced on 10 December 2018 on the Italian actor and director Michele Placido.

See also[edit]


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